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In its manifesto for the 2015 General Election, the Conservative Party said that introducing an elected element into the House of Lords “is not a priority for the coming Parliament”. The Government has reiterated that position, with, on 2 November 2016, Chris Skidmore, the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, telling the House of Commons that:

The Government agree that the House of Lords cannot grow indefinitely. However, comprehensive reform is not a priority for this Parliament, given the growing number of pressing priorities elsewhere. Nevertheless, when there are measures that can command consensus, we would welcome working with peers to look at taking them forward.

Then on 28 March 2017, Chris Skidmore again confirmed that the Government intended to stick to the Conservative Party’s manifesto commitment.

Members of the House of Lords have continued to express frustration with the size of the House through questions and debates in the House.

In a debate on 5 December 2016, members of the House of Lords called for the establishment of a select committee to explore how the size of the House of Lords could be reduced. Following that debate, on 20 December 2016, the Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, announced that he had established a Lord Speaker’s Committee drawn entirely from the back benches to “examine possible methods by which the House could be reduced in size”.

The Lord Speaker’s Committee has issued a consultation paper and it called for written submissions by 20 February 2017. It intends to report by early summer 2017.

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