A report in today’s Guardian by its Political Editor, Patrick Wintour suggests that this is likely to feature in the forthcoming proposals.
In today’s paper, he wrote Plans to reform House of Lords could include a lottery to cull peers.
…A lottery could be used to decide which peers are thrown out of the House of Lords under one method being discussed to cut the second chamber down to as few as 300 members.
Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, will seek to re-energise his political reform agenda next week when he publishes a white paper on an elected second chamber that will set out plans to cull remaining hereditary and appointed peers.
The government is expected to leave open the question of which peers are selected to stay, but a favoured option being canvassed is for each party group to hold a random draw for each phase of the removal of peers.
The draft bill will suggest slashing back the number of existing peers from 790 to 200 by 2015, with 100 elected in 2015, bringing the total size of the chamber to 300, half the size of the Commons.
Clegg will also canvass a softer option in which no peer is forced to leave until 2025, the point at which the reforms are complete. Numbers would fall as peers die or chose to retire, but this option has little support within the Liberal Democrats. Only bishops can currently retire, though others can take leave of absence. The aim is for the new Lords to be complete by 2025. Twelve bishops will be retained with full voting rights. Clegg will propose the second chamber is either 80% or 100% elected, saying a totally elected chamber is his preferred option…
These proposals are likely to meet opposition from all kinds of people. See for example, Clegg’s Lords reform plan ‘unprincipled’ by Ned Simons at ePolitix.com.
Today’s Church Times has this report by Ed Thornton Let other faiths in, Lords are urged and there are two further articles on the topic, available only to subscribers until the next week.
LEADERS of non-Christian faith groups should be invited to sit alongside bishops in the House of Lords, a historian who contributed to a commission on reform of the Second Chamber has suggested.
Writing in the Church Times today, John F. H. Smith, an architectural historian who made a submission to the Royal Commission on the Reform of the House of Lords, argues that, although bishops should remain “in the majority”, “an interdenominational and interfaith college” would “broaden faith representation”.
…Also writing in the Church Times today, the former Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd John Gladwin, says that reform of the Lords presents “an opportunity to recover some ground for the Christian inheritance in our democratic public life.
“The Church of England, with 26 bishops sitting as Lords Spiritual, has both a particular responsibility and an opportunity to make a constructive contribution to the current debate over what needs to be done.
“Hoping that the whole issue will go away and praying it into the long grass is not good enough for a Church carrying such national responsibility. Nor will it do simply to defend the 26 seats.”