David Cameron calls on Conservative MPs to back the reform of the House of Lords as a draft Bill is published.
David Cameron has insisted it is time to “make progress” on reform of the House of Lords as a Tory revolt over the controversial legislation starts to bubble.
A draft Bill to create a mostly elected second chamber was published on Wednesday after Nick Clegg declared that MPs have to “just get on with it and got on with it”.
Mr Cameron backed his Deputy Prime Minister, declaring at PMQs (Prim Minister Questions) that progress had to be made on reforming the second chamber despite substantial opposition in his own party.
Mr Clegg wants to refurm the House of Lords and make a high priority for the Coalition, claiming there are more pressing issues such as the economy
It has been discussed at Prim Minister question a 100 times before and its now time to move on and make progress.
There are always going to be opponents of Lords reform in every party but there is a majority in this House of lords and in the country that is a good reform.
“If those who support Lords reform don’t get out there and back it, it won’t happen. That is the crucial point.”
Earlier Mr Clegg stated on Sky News: “There are many more important things in life than House of Lords reform, but we’ve been talking about it as a country for 100 years and all the political parties said at the last general election that they wanted to get this done.
“There’s a very simple principle at stake which I think most people would agree with, which is that people who make the laws of the land should be elected by the people who have to obey the laws of the land.
“It’s as simple as that and I think we should just now get on with it. I hope people won’t tie themselves up in knots in Westminster. Just get on with this – it’s something the country expects us to do, and we should do it.”
The draft Bill, which is the last remnant of Lib Dem constitutional reform plans and is being driven by Mr Clegg, would create an 80% elected Lords and slash membership from 800 to 450.
If this become law, it will remove the hereditary peers from the Lords introduce elected members in groups of 120 at the next three general elections
The process would be complete by 2025 and elected members would serve for a single 15-year term.
In a concession to critics, ministers have scrapped plans for a salary of about £60,000 for members of the new Upper House.
They would instead be paid £300 every day they attend up to a maximum of £45,000-a-year, which would be taxed unlike the current attendance allowance.
The Bill was formally introduced to Parliament on Wednesday afternoon. A date for the opening debate and a crunch vote on the timetable for its progress will be announced on Thursday. They are due to be held before MPs go on holiday on July 17.
Labour wants to join with Conservative rebels to vote down the motion setting out its passage through Parliament, with the Opposition demanding more days for the debate.
Defeat on the timetable would throw the legislation into chaos and could allow opponents of the Bill to delay its progress for months if not years.
The Government insists that all MPs will have have to support the Lord’s reform and anybody who refuse will have to resign or be sacked.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “It is a Government bill. It will be whipped appropriately and if necessary we will use the Parliament Act.”
Tory ministerial aide Conor Burns has quoted that he is prepared to sacrifice his job to vote against the timetable that has been laid out.
“This is a major constitutional change… If we are going to have this debate, we need to have it at length and in full and we should have it in committee on the floor of the House of Commons and we should take as much time as is necessary to do that.
“If I lose my job for something that was a mainstream view within the Conservative Party in the last parliament, which serving Cabinet ministers held as their view, so be it.”
Conservative MP Jesse Norman, who is campaigning against the reforms, has stated that she will vote against it and the Government’s timetable.Tags: Conservative, david cameron, house of lords, reform