The End of the Peer Show?: A debate on the future of the House of Lords
Speaker(s): Professor Tim Bale, Professor Patrick Dunleavy, Mark Harper MP, Rt Revd Lord Harries
Chair: Nat le Roux
Recorded on 18 July 2011 in Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building.
The draft House of Lords Reform Bill, published in May 2011, sets out a number of proposals aiming to reform the UK's Upper House. These proposals - among them the reduction in number of members by more than half, making the House either 80 or 100 per cent elected, and limiting the length of term to 15 years - aim to increase the democratic authority of the House of Lords whilst retaining its essential scrutiny and expert functions. The timetable for reform could see first elections take place by 2015. This debate aims to bring together MPs, peers and academics to discuss the proposals set out in the Draft Bill and the prospects for reform of the House. The event launches The end of the peer show? a new book published by the Constitution Society and CentreForum drawing together a series of responses to the recent proposals for reform.
Tim Bale is Professor of Politics and European Studies at Sussex University and the convenor of the Political Studies Association’s specialist group on Conservatives and Conservatism. His latest book is The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron (Polity, 2010).
Patrick Dunleavy is Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science and General Editor of the British Politics and Policy at LSE blog.
Mark Harper is Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform and the Conservative MP for the Forest of Dean. He was first elected in the 2005 general election. He joined the Cabinet Office in May 2010 as Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform, having previously served as Shadow Minister for Defence.
The Rt Revd Lord Harries is a retired bishop of the Church of England. He was the 41st Bishop of Oxford from 1987 to 2006. Since 2008 he has been the Gresham Professor of Divinity.
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