What next for the House of Lords?

Q Why is reform of the House of Lords so important to Nick Clegg?
A The Lib Dem leader is keen to show his party has benefited from the coalition government. Democratising the upper chamber is a totemic issue for Lib Dems and it could be Clegg’s lasting legacy.

Q What could the make-up of the new House of Lords look like?
A There would be 450 members, of which 360 will be elected. A non-party committee would appoint the remaining 90 peers and all members would serve a single 15-year term. In addition, 12 Church of England bishops would retain their positions.

Q How would House of Lords elections work?
A Votes would occur on the same day as elections to the Commons. 90 peers would be elected at each election cycle using the party list system – a form of proportional representation. The Lords would use the same regional constituencies used by the European Parliament.

Q Does an elected upper house threaten the supremacy of the House of Commons?
A The Bill says it would not alter the current relationship between the Houses. But many MPs fear a new class of politician with a 15-year mandate would create conflict.

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