Select Committee on Ceremony of Introduction Report


  50.    The formal introduction of new members to the House of Lords should be retained, in a modified form.

  51.    The wearing of hats during the ceremony should be discontinued.

  52.    Parliamentary robes should continue to be worn during the ceremony.

  53.    The new peer should continue to be supported by two sponsors, and the procession should be led by Black Rod. As we recommend the abolition of the "placing" ceremony, we also recommend that Garter King of Arms should no longer take part in the ceremony of introduction.

  54.    The practice of kneeling before the Lord Chancellor should be discontinued.

  55.    The Reading Clerk should continue to read the Letters Patent, but not the Writ of Summons.

  56.    We recommend the abolition of the "placing" ceremony. In its stead, we suggest the following ceremony of introduction of a new peer:

    (1)  following the procession into the Chamber, where each member of the party should bow once on reaching the bar, the new member should proceed directly to the Table of the House, where the Reading Clerk would read the Letters Patent and the new member would take the oath or make the solemn affirmation and sign the Test Roll;

    (2)  led by Black Rod and accompanied by his supporters, the new member would process behind the Clerks' chairs. Stopping at the cross-benches the peer and his supporters would bow their heads to the Cloth of Estate. The new member would not be seated;

    (3)  the procession would then proceed along the spiritual side of the House. On reaching the Woolsack, the new peer would shake hands with the Lord Chancellor before proceeding out with his supporters.

  57.    Although not part of the ceremony, we further recommend that the new peer and the two supporters, none of them wearing robes, should return to the Chamber, where he or she should sit for the first time on the side of the House where the new peer intends to sit in future.

  58.    Peers who are to be introduced should be provided with a leaflet explaining the significance of the ceremony to their future role as members of a legislature.

  59.    Save in exceptional circumstances no more than two peers should be introduced on any one day.

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