Select Committee on Public Administration Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Letter from George Stevenson MP (LR 17)

  Thank you for your letter of 21 November and for the enclosed press release.

  My views on the issue of House of Lords Reform are simply stated. I believe we should have a fully elected second chamber. I do not accept the views held by some that such an elected second chamber would be in competition with the House of Commons. The powers, duties an responsibilities of an elected second chamber can be properly circumscribed and laid out under the necessary regulations, as is the case in many other bi-cameral systems in other parts of the world.

  The notion that the second chamber should have a minority of members directly elected, and a majority of members appointed by patronage, as is the basis of the Government proposals, seems to be to be completely unacceptable.

  In the event of some compromise being necessary I believe that, at the very least, the majority of members should be directly elected to the second chamber subject to the conditions previously stated, and the minority of members that would make up the total should be appointed by an Independent Commission, although my strong preference remains for a fully elected second chamber, which is entirely consistent with our democratic process.

November 2001

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