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House of Lords reform

December 14, 2015 9:38 AM

housed of ParliamentThe Tories are showing "breath-taking arrogance" by trying to ram through laws to quash opposition in the House of Lords, says Clive Jones, Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesman for Wokingham.

A review by Tory peer Lord Strathclyde could see the Lords banned from overturning some Government legislation.

The grandee was asked to look at reforming the Lords after the government's defeat on tax credits which led to the Chancellors humiliating climb down in the recent Autumn statement.

The Government will also seek to overturn a defeat by peers on its plans to exclude 16 and 17-year-olds from voting in the EU referendum on British membership.

To ensure the Bill gets through ministers have added an amendment saying it is now a financial issue. Peers are not allowed to vote down financial bills such as a the Budget. THIS IS NOT A FINANCIAL ISSUE.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron MP said, "the Government are treating Parliament like a rubber stamp."

"Many Wokingham residents will agree with him" added Clive Jones.

"The Tories including our local MP John Redwood claim to be the party of responsibility; yet they will not give 16 and 17 year olds the chance to take responsibility for potentially the biggest decision in their lifetime.

"It is frankly a scandal and shows the utter hubris of the Prime Minister and his clique. They do not like people disagreeing with them and are now trying to find ways to shun debate and scrutiny.

"During the thirteen years of the last Labour government, Labour was defeated over 500 times in votes in the Lords. The Conservatives didn't complain then", says Clive.

There was an opportunity to reform the House of Lords in the last parliament, but an alliance of Conservatives and Labour MP's combined to defeat the Lib Dem proposals. The Conservatives now propose to tinker with the Lords for their own self interest.

Clive Jones

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary spokesman for Wokingham.