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4. Reform of the House of Lords
About this Lecture
In this module, we outline the case for reform of the House of Lords, focusing in particular on: (i) the idea that House of Lords reform is more of a Labour than a Conservative political issue; (ii) House of Lords reform under Labour between 1997 and 2010, including (iii) the 1999 reforms to hereditary peerages and (iv) the lack of consensus over House of Lords reform in 2003 when the question was put to the Commons; (v) ongoing debate within Labour over reforming or abolishing the Lords; (vi) the key arguments for and against House of Lords reform and the various forms that reform might take; (vii) how reform might affect the relative powers of the two Houses; (viii) how, for example, electing the House of Lords would reignite debates over suitable electoral systems and the timing of elections; (ix) the question of how relevant House of Lords reform is as a political issue today.
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 - Reform of the House of Lords [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/uk-politics-house-of-lords/reform-of-the-house-of-lords
Dorey, P. "House of Lords – Reform of the House of Lords." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 28 Feb 2022, https://www.massolit.io/courses/uk-politics-house-of-lords/reform-of-the-house-of-lords