Paul Tyler versus David Steel on House of Lords reform

During the week The Guardian ran an exchange between Liberal Democrats Lord Steel and Lord Tyler, with the former Liberal Party leader urging the Lib Dems to drop the party’s long-standing policy (and the Liberal Party’s before that) to introduce elections for the Lords and Tyler responding.

Here’s a sample:

Steel: I am old enough to recall the defeat of Lords reform proposals through getting bogged down in the Commons in a war of attrition led by Michael Foot and Enoch Powell, and I fear the same may happen to these. There is no public clamour for the changes…

Tyler: Westminster is such an Alice in Wonderland place that many parliamentarians are asking why reform of the House of Lords is necessary at all. They are so absorbed by self-serving assumptions that they forget a simple principle: legislators should be elected by the people whose lives they affect.

You can read the full piece here.

David Steel, alas, is not the only Liberal Democrat peer who has come out against elections for the Lords. So too has John Lee – and hence the two emails I’m encouraging people to send.

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