Select Committee on Public Administration Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Letter from George Howarth MP (LR 45)

  Thank you for your letter of 17 January 2002, seeking my views on House of Lords Reform.

  My own preference would be to abolish the House of Lords. The logic of a move towards reform seems to be rooted in a belief that the House of Commons does not work as effectively as it should and, therefore, the House of Lords should be reformed to make up for the deficiencies in the House of Commons. Surely, the issue is the need for reform of the House of Commons particularly in terms of pre-legislative scrutiny and holding the Executive to account.

  My view is that two equally democratic branches of Parliament would inevitably lead to unnecessary and debilitating power struggles.

  In the absence of any serious proposals to reform the way in which the House of Commons functions, followed by the abolition of the House of Lords, I will vote for whichever proposals minimise the powers of the House of Lords.

  Thank you for seeking my views.

George Howarth MP

Knowsley North & Sefton East

January 2002

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