Clegg calls on MPs to reform House of Lords

Marion Dakers
DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg has urged fellow MPs to push on with reforming the House of Lords, as set out in the coalition deal.

The Liberal Democrat leader, who has called for parliamentary reform since his days as an MEP, set out his stall ahead of an all-party report on Lords reform due today.

It is expected to recommend that the majority of Lords are elected, compared to the current system of appointment via party nominations and a commission.

“It’s something we have been talking about for 100 years. We should just get on with it now, with minimum fuss,” Clegg told the BBC.

“Our priority is rescuing the economy but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do other things like putting a smidgeon of democracy into the House of Lords.”

He brushed aside proposals of a referendum on whether to overhaul the upper house, questioning why the UK should spend “a great deal of money” on a vote when “there’s a consensus among the three parties”.

Labour has recently come out in favour of a referendum. Conservatives, however, have raised concerns that focusing on parliamentary reform would take attention away from supporting the fledgling economic recovery.