Select Committee on Public Administration Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence

Letter from John Maples MP (LR 20)

  Thanks for your letter of 21 November 2001 about your House of Lords Reform enquiry. I have some strong views on this subject!

  1.  I believe the House of Lords should either be wholly elected or wholly appointed. I do not believe there is room for any hereditary peers at all, but I also believe that a mixture of elected and appointed peers will simply not work. I do not think that you can have two classes of members of an Upper House, either it is elected or it is not. I could elaborate on this at some length, but I think the point is fundamentally a fairly simple one. I will be happy with either outcome, though I think I would probably prefer to continue the present set-up without the hereditary peers and with powers limited as they are at present by the Parliament Act.

  2.  I believe that any reform of the House of Lords should make it into a legislature and that members should not be allowed to be Government Ministers. This would be particularly important if the House were to become elected. Ministers should have a right to attend and speak and be able to be summoned to answer questions, but they should not actually be voting members of the House. This would very considerably limit the Government's patronage and power in the Upper House and would, I believe turn it into a genuine legislature.

  Very many thanks for giving me the opportunity to state my views.

December 2001

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