• Research Briefing

    Rectification procedure

    This note reviews the origins and evolution of the rectification procedure. It notes how many times it has been used. It sets out John Lyon's proposals to change it. It reports the BBC's coverage of Sir George Young's letter to the Committee on Standards and Privileges. Finally, it outlines the Committee on Standards and Privileges' recommendations, and the House's decisions.

  • Research Briefing

    Resignation, suspension and expulsion from the House of Lords

    This note sets out the current rules on membership of the House of Lords and the disqualification criteria. It then outlines recent developments which have caused interest in the ability of the House of Lords to suspend and expel its own Members, and the ability of members of the House of Lords to stand down. It considers the provisions included in the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill as introduced, and the reactions to them, including some of the main arguments made during the second reading debate. It also sets out proposals which have been made for time-limited appointments to the House of Lords - so called 'term peerages".

  • Research Briefing

    Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill 2010-11: Commons Stages

    This Paper summarises all Commons stages of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill 2010-11. It supplements Research Paper 10/55 which was produced for the Bill’s Second Reading and replaces Standard Note 5697 'Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill: Progress of the Bill'. No major changes were made during the passage of the Bill in the Commons, but the text of the referendum question was altered and legislative provision was made for the combination of polls on 5 May 2011.

  • Research Briefing

    Welsh Grand Committee

    Some Members representing Welsh constituencies called for a meeting of the Welsh Grand Committee in order to discuss the impact on Wales of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill 2010. The Secretary of State, Cheryl Gillan, declined. This Note gives a very brief account of the business of the Committee and a list of its previous meetings.

  • Research Briefing

    The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill [Bill 63 of 2010-11]

    This Paper has been prepared for the Second Reading debate in the House of Commons. The Bill seeks to enable the next general election to be fought under the Alternative Vote system, provided this change is endorsed in a referendum on 5 May 2011 and boundary changes have been made to reduce the size of the House of Commons to 600. New rules for the redistribution of seats are designed to give primacy to numerical equality in constituencies and regular redistributions would take place every five years.

  • Research Briefing

    Fixed-term Parliaments Bill [Bill 64 of 2010-11]

    The Fixed-term Parliaments Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on 22 July 2010. The proposals are part of the Coalition Agreement between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, agreed after the May 2010 General Election. The Bill fixes the date of the next General Election at 7 May 2015, and provides five year fixed-terms. There are provisions to allow the Prime Minister to alter the date by Order by up to two months. There are also two ways in which an election could be triggered before the five year term: if a motion of no confidence is passed and no alternative government is found within 14 days; or a motion for an early General Election is agreed either by at least two-thirds of the House or without division.

  • Research Briefing

    Financial Support for Members of the House of Lords

    In November 2009 the Review Body on Senior Salaries (SSRB) published its Review of Financial Support for Members of the House of Lords. This note sets out the expense allowance system as it currently operates, the background to the 2009 SSRB report, and its recommendations. It then sets out the changes made so far to the system.