House of Lords: Size Debate

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Lord Blunkett

Main Page: Lord Blunkett (Labour - Life peer)
Thursday 28th January 2021

(3 years, 5 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord McFall of Alcluith Portrait Lord McFall of Alcluith [V]
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I thank the noble Baroness for that question; again, there is something very positive in that. However, the problems that have arisen in the past lie elsewhere; they do not lie in the House itself. Whatever the Procedure Committee can do, it will do because, as mentioned earlier, the whole House endorsed the Burns report and the Lord Speaker’s initiative in setting it up.

Lord Blunkett Portrait Lord Blunkett (Lab)
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My Lords, I do not expect the Senior Deputy Speaker to comment on anything to do with party politics, but I wonder whether he could reflect on whether the Procedure Committee—and the Burns committee, for that matter—could think about the writ of summons to attend the House and whether, after a year of some Members not attending the House physically at all, it would be possible for the political parties to be brought together to think about the implications for those who might choose to stand down once the House returns fully in person.

Lord McFall of Alcluith Portrait Lord McFall of Alcluith [V]
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I thank the noble Lord for that question and apologise for the delay in answering; I am having to unmute every time. On the issue of the writs of summons, the person who receives writs of summons

“to attend the House of Lords and sit and vote therein accordingly”.

So the House is restricted in what it can do to limit introductions without undermining that Act of Parliament. It is the Government and the party groups who are best able to ensure that we continue to reduce the size of the House, should they choose to accept the recommendations in the report from the Lord Speaker’s committee on the size of the House.