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2. Composition of the House of Lords
About this Lecture
In this module, we outline the composition of the House of Lords, focusing in particular on: (i) the different types of Peers and their various backgrounds; (ii) the selection of members of the House of Lords; (iii) the controversial argument that the Lords are, in terms of their work and life experiences, more representative than MPs in the Commons; (iv) the role of the “Lords Spiritual”; (v) the current composition of the House of Lords by party and the importance of crossbenchers; (vi) gender balance in the House of Lords; (vii) how the expertise of Life Peers can improve the quality of Select Committee work, e.g. the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs.
In this course, Professor Pete Dorey (Cardiff) explores the UK House of Lords, orienting his discussion around the UK Politics section of the Government and Politics A-Level specifications. We begin in the first lecture by outlining the constitutional position of the House of Lords, focusing in particular on developments such as the 1911, 1949, and 1999 Acts, before moving on in the second lecture to consider the composition of the Lords. Here, we cover the different types of Peers and their various backgrounds, as well as strengths of the Lords, such as how the expertise of Life Peers can improve the quality of their Select Committee work. In the third lecture, we outline the main powers and functions of the House of Lords, before moving on in the fourth lecture to cover the case for Lords reform. Close attention is paid throughout to the relative powers of the two Houses and the question of how relevant House of Lords reform remains as a political issue today.
Prof. Peter Dorey is Professor of British Politics at Cardiff University. His research interests focus on several aspects of British Politics, and public policy, in the period from 1945 to the present day. To date, he has written, co-authored or edited fifteen books on aspects of British politics or public policy, including Comrades in Conflict: Labour, the Trade Unions and 1969's 'In Place of Strife' (2019) and (as co-editor) Choosing Party Leaders: Britain's Conservatives and Labour Compares (2020).
Cite this Lecture
Dorey, P. (2022, February 28). House of Lords - Composition of the House of Lords [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/uk-politics-house-of-lords/composition-of-the-house-of-lords
Dorey, P. "House of Lords – Composition of the House of Lords." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 28 Feb 2022, https://www.massolit.io/courses/uk-politics-house-of-lords/composition-of-the-house-of-lords