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Life Peerages (Appointments Commission) Bill [H.L.]

This is the Life Peerages (Appointments Commission) Bill [H.L.], as introduced in the House of Lords on 15th February 2000.

 
 
  
Life Peerages (Appointments Commission) Bill [H.L.]
 
 
 
 
ARRANGEMENT OF CLAUSES
Clause 
1.Appointments Commission.
2.Short title.
 


 

 
 
A

B I L L

TO

Establish a Commission to make proposals for the conferment of life peerages under the Life Peerages Act 1958.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
 

Appointments Commission.     1. - (1) There shall be an Appointments Commission ("the Commission") which shall make proposals to the Prime Minister for recommendations to Her Majesty for the conferment of life peerages under the Life Peerages Act 1958 ("the 1958 Act").
 
      (2) The Commission shall be an advisory non-departmental public body and shall-
 
 
    (a) be appointed in accordance with the rules of the Commissioner for Public Appointments and may seek his advice about best practice in attracting and assessing potential nominees;
 
    (b) operate an open and transparent nominations system for members of the House of Lords not belonging to, or recommended by, any political party ("Cross Bench members");
 
    (c) actively invite nominations by the general public and encourage nominations from such professional associations, charities and other public bodies as it judges appropriate;
 
    (d) publish criteria under which it will determine a candidate's suitability for nomination;
 
    (e) reinforce the function of the Political Honours Scrutiny Committee in vetting the suitability of all nominations for the conferment of life peerages under the 1958 Act by the political parties; and
 
    (f) scrutinise all nominations for life peerages under the 1958 Act on the grounds of propriety in relation to political donations, as proposed in the 5th Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
      (3) The Commission shall appoint its own Chairman.
 
      (4) It shall, at most every 6 months, and at least every year, propose to the Prime Minister sufficient nominations as Cross Bench members at least to fill any vacancies among Cross Bench members that may occur through death, disqualification or a decision to join a political party represented in that House.
 
      (5) The Prime Minister may not refuse to submit to Her Majesty the names of those recommended as Cross Bench members by the Commission, and shall not seek to influence such nominations, save in exceptional circumstances, such as those endangering the security of the realm.
 
      (6) In considering nominations as Cross Bench members the Commission shall not give any additional weight to recommendations from the Prime Minister or the Leaders of other political parties.
 
      (7) The Commission shall report annually to Parliament on the recommendations made to Her Majesty by the Prime Minister for the conferment of life peerages under the 1958 Act, in which it will declare if the following criteria are being observed, namely that-
 
 
    (a) no one political party commands a majority in the House of Lords;
 
    (b) there is broad parity of numbers between the number of members of the House of Lords who support Her Majesty's Government and the number of those who support the main opposition party in the House of Lords; and
 
    (c) the proportion of the Cross Bench members to the total number of members of the House of Lords holding life peerages under the 1958 Act remains as it was on the day before the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999.
      (8) The Commission shall consist of eight members of the Privy Council, of whom four shall be appointed by a special Commission of the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the House of Commons, and the Lord Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords.
 
      (9) Each of the three largest parties in the House of Commons shall appoint one Commissioner on the nomination of the Leader of each such party, and one Commissioner shall be appointed from the Cross Bench members on the nomination of the Convenor of the Cross Bench peers.
 
Short title.     2. This Act may be cited as the Life Peerages (Appointments Commission) Act 2000.
 
 

 
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Prepared 16 February 2000