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Lord Speaker's committee on size of the house publish fifth report

17 July 2023

The Lord Speaker’s committee on the size of the House has today published its fifth report.

The report reflects on the lessons of the last six years and makes the following key conclusions.

  1. The first priority must be to introduce a fairer and more sustainable appointments system. This is the only way of ensuring that any subsequent reduction in the size of the House will be enduring.
  2. While the House has played its part over the last six years by nearly meeting the number of departures proposed by the committee, the excessive number of appointments has meant that there has been a “one-out, one-in” effect rather than the “two-out, one in” process recommended by the Committee.
  3. Labour is now seriously under-represented in the House, which increases the risk of “leap-frogging” whereby new governments feel compelled to make a substantial number of new appointments in order to redress the political balance and get their business through. Under the committee’s proposals, this damaging cycle would be halted.
  4. The primary role of the House of Lords Appointments Commission, rather than the Prime Minister, in appointing Crossbench peers must be reasserted.
  5. The abolition of the hereditary peer by-elections is both necessary and achievable. The current arrangements distort the political and gender balance of the House.