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Sir Patrick Cormack (South Staffordshire): He's Labour!

David Winnick: Whether a hereditary peer is Labour, Conservative or Liberal—I remind the hon. Gentleman who has just shouted across the Floor of the House that I have already said that it is nothing personal—their remaining in Parliament because of titles created as long ago as 1283, or in the 14th and 15th century, makes no sense whatever.

We rid Parliament of more than 640 hereditary peers four years ago, and I do not notice any enthusiasm among the Tories for the restoration of the hereditary principle. They refused to support what was done four years ago, and described Labour's proposals as "damaging", but they now—as far as I know—accept the status quo. When the remaining hereditary peers go, there will be no desire to bring them back.

As I argued earlier, this is a modest measure. The work has been left undone, and it is now time to rid Parliament of those who sit here simply because their ancestors were given a title.

12.41 pm

Mr. Douglas Hogg (Sleaford and North Hykeham): I rise to oppose the Bill, but before I do so I should declare a couple of interests. The first is that my wife is a member of the other place and the second is that, but for legislation that the House has passed, I would have been entitled to sit in the other place. I must add that I would not have done so, because I much preferred to stay in this House.

All my political life I have campaigned for substantial reform of the House of Lords. I believe in a House of Lords that is elected or largely elected. I am opposed to its appointed form and to the hereditaries. My reason for seeking an elected Chamber is that I want to increase the powers of the second Chamber substantially. I recognise that the only basis on which one can give the second Chamber real power is if it is given legitimacy. In the modern world, election is the only basis for political legitimacy. One of my great regrets is that the Conservative Government of which I was a member for many years did not tackle the problem of House of Lords reform.

My objection to the Bill is twofold. First, most of us would agree that the hereditaries in the other place are independent-minded and unpredictable. Both of those are good characteristics. The hereditaries are also wholly unwhippable. I welcome unwhippable members of the House of Commons or of the House of Lords. I want to see thoroughly unwhippable and unwhipped Members of Parliament. [Interruption.] Well, I am thoroughly unwhipped, as my hon. Friends know full well, but that is not my main point.

8 Jul 2003 : Column 900

I actually agree with the hon. Member for Walsall, North (David Winnick) that the presence of the hereditaries is an anomaly and cannot be justified. However, as long as the anomaly exists, so will the pressure for reform. The converse is true: if the hereditaries were taken away, the Prime Minister would have what he wants, which is a wholly appointed House that lacks legitimacy. The Bill would create a wholly appointed second Chamber, and the pressure for reform would die away. I regard that as undesirable.

Sir Patrick Cormack : Will my right hon. and learned Friend give way?

Mr. Hogg: I am pleased to give way to my hon. Friend.

Sir Patrick Cormack rose—

Mr. Speaker: Order. There can be no interventions in a ten-minute Bill.

Mr. Hogg: My hon. Friend told me that he had a very good intervention to make, and I am sure that he does.

Sir Patrick Cormack: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker: I shall take the hon. Gentleman's point of order after the right hon. and learned Member for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Mr. Hogg) has finished.

Mr. Hogg: Mr. Speaker, I am sorry that, between us, my hon. Friend and I cannot encourage you to allow his intervention.

In summary, I believe in a thoroughgoing reform of the House of Lords, and that the hereditaries are an anomaly. So long as they are there, there will be constant pressure for change, and if we take them away as the Bill proposes, the pressure for change will die away. We would then have a wholly appointed Chamber, which would lack political legitimacy. That is what the Prime Minister wants, but it is not what we should want. On that basis, I invite the House to oppose the Bill.

Question put, pursuant to Standing Order No. 23 (Motions for leave to bring in Bills and nomination of Select Committees at commencement of public business):—

The House proceeded to a Division.

Mr. Speaker: I ask the Serjeant at Arms to investigate the delay in the Aye Lobby.

The House having divided: Ayes 171, Noes 73.

Division No. 278
[12:46 pm


Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Allan, Richard
Allen, Graham
Anderson, rh Donald (Swansea E)
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baker, Norman
Barnes, Harry
Barron, rh Kevin
Beard, Nigel
Bennett, Andrew
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blizzard, Bob
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Bryant, Chris
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Calton, Mrs Patsy
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Carmichael, Alistair
Caton, Martin
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clwyd, Ann (Cynon V)
Cohen, Harry
Colman, Tony
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Jean
Cotter, Brian
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
David, Wayne
Dawson, Hilton
Dismore, Andrew
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doughty, Sue
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Edwards, Huw
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ewing, Annabelle
Farrelly, Paul
Field, rh Frank (Birkenhead)
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings & Rye)
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gerrard, Neil
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Harris, Dr. Evan (Oxford W & Abingdon)
Havard, Dai (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney)
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Hermon, Lady
Hinchliffe, David
Hood, Jimmy (Clydesdale)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hurst, Alan (Braintree)
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jenkins, Brian
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Kaufman, rh Gerald
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Love, Andrew
Lyons, John (Strathkelvin)
McCabe, Stephen
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McFall, John
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Maples, John
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury & Atcham)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Martlew, Eric
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Mole, Chris
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan (Wansdyke)
O'Hara, Edward
Osborne, Sandra (Ayr)
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)
Rooney, Terry
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Salter, Martin
Sanders, Adrian
Sarwar, Mohammad
Sawford, Phil
Sheridan, Jim
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Stevenson, George
Stringer, Graham
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, Dari (Stockton S)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Tynan, Bill (Hamilton S)
Tyrie, Andrew
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Watts, David
Weir, Michael
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Wishart, Pete
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Kevin Brennan and
Ian Lucas


Amess, David
Atkinson, David (Bour'mth E)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Barker, Gregory
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)
Blunt, Crispin
Browning, Mrs Angela
Burns, Simon
Butterfill, John
Cameron, David
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice & Howden)
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Michael
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Flight, Howard
Forth, rh Eric
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Gray, James (N Wilts)
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Hague, rh William
Hawkins, Nick
Hendry, Charles
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hogg, rh Douglas
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lilley, rh Peter
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter (M-Worcs)
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Malins, Humfrey
Mercer, Patrick
Mitchell, Andrew (Sutton Coldfield)
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Paisley, Rev. Ian
Paterson, Owen
Randall, John
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
Roe, Mrs Marion
Ruffley, David
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Simmonds, Mark
Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)
Soames, Nicholas
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Syms, Robert
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Dr. Richard (Wyre F)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thurso, John
Tredinnick, David
Watkinson, Angela
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Eric Joyce and
John Robertson

Question accordingly agreed to.

8 Jul 2003 : Column 902

Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. David Winnick, Angela Eagle, John Cryer, Andrew Mackinlay, Mr. Marsha Singh, Mr. Khalid Mahmood, Mr. John Battle, Ms Candy Atherton, Rob Marris, Mrs. Alice Mahon, Ian Lucas and Mr. John Smith.

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