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  Bishops 'could be banished from the House of Lords'
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ContributorRalphie 
Last EditedRalphie  Jun 25, 2009 02:31pm
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CategoryProposed Legislation
MediaNewspaper - Daily Telegraph
News DateWednesday, June 24, 2009 08:30:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionThe Prime Minister is looking at blueprints for a new and radically reformed upper chamber of parliament as part of his programme of constitutional reform.

Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, will publish a paper on plans for Lords reform before the Commons rises for its summer break next month.

One option under consideration is a move towards an all-elected upper house. In the new, elected House of Lords, there would be no seats reserved for Church of England bishops or any other religious leaders.

A less radical option being discussed is for an 80 per cent elected Lords, with the remaining seats reserved for appointed members and others such as the bishops.

Advocates of the 80 per cent option say it would allow the Lords to retain the expertise of some of the distinguished academics, scientists, lawyers, medics, economists and generals who now sit as life peers.

A partially-elected Lords would also be more likely to win support from the Conservatives. David Cameron has recently signalled his willingness to support an upper house where two-thirds of members were directly elected.
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