Political

John Lee threatens to quit if Lords reform is in Queen’s Speech

Liberal Democrat peer John Lee has threatened to resign the party whip in the House of Lords.

Being in coalition necessarily requires all the Parliamentarians involved to back policy sometimes┬áthat is not that of their own party but is from their coalition partner. But it’s not being asked to back any Conservative Party policy which has caused John Lee to threaten resignation. No, it’s a Liberal Democrat policy.

Sometimes of course parties change policy and someone who may have been happy with a policy at the time they were appointed to the House of Lords then finds themselves strongly opposed to their own party. But it’s not being asked to back a new Liberal Democrat policy which has caused John Lee to threaten resignation. No, it’s a long-standing Liberal Democrat (and before that Alliance, SDP and Liberal Party policy, stretching back to before he was born).

Sometimes it may be that when it comes to a crunch vote a Parliamentarian says, “sorry, count me out”. But in John Lee’s case what would trigger his resignation? The mere act of including a long-standing Liberal Democrat policy in the next Queen’s Speech is, to him, so beyond the pale that he’ll quit.

The policy?

Lords reform of course.

UPDATE: Turns out John Lee is threatening to resign from his post as a Liberal Democrat Whip in the Lords.

That’s better than what I wrote in the above post: I can understand the logic about being unhappy whipping colleagues to vote for something you don’t agree with. But it’s still pretty rum to be willing to become a Liberal Democrat peer and even become a whip in the Lords, knowing what the party’s policy is and yet thinking that the inclusion of it in the Queen’s Speech would be so awful as to merit resigning. He’s also used phrases such as ” wholly unnecessary destruction” to describe Lords reform.

8 responses to “John Lee threatens to quit if Lords reform is in Queen’s Speech”

  1. Telegraph report actually says "Lord Lee of Trafford, a Lib Dem peer, told The Sunday Telegraph he would resign *as a whip*" – still a very strange attitude, but not as radical as "resigning the party whip".

  2. I hope he doesn't resign as Whip, I have a great deal of respect for Lord Lee, and he is well loved locally in Trafford and beyond (I'm in neighbouring Wythenshawe). Do you know if he would also resign as co-spokesperson on Defence and Foreign affairs, a position he shares with Martin Hopwood MP?

  3. Fairly typical unfortunately, people think The Lords undemocratic till they are in it – then they see what a brilliant bunch they are. The Party should tell him not to be silly but if he insists on going he should go now.

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