To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a
statement on the future of the House of Lords Appointments Commission.
The Appointments Commission brought new standards
of transparency, professionalism and rigour into the selection
of independent peers. The Commission have, as required, published
criteria for appointing peers on the basis that individuals should
have a record of outstanding achievement, political independence,
integrity and the ability to contribute to the House.
The 15 new independent peers were appointed
because they have skills and qualities that will benefit the legislative
scrutiny and revising work of the second Chamber. They included
a world authority on palliative care, an expert on youth and social
exclusion, a top British businessman and a leading educationalist.
Their expertise is already contributing to debates in the House.
As the Honourable Member knows, the White Paper
on Lords Reform published last year proposes a statutory Appointments
Commission to appoint independent members and to continue an open
and transparent process of appointing independent members to the
House of Lords. In the meantime the Appointments Commission will
continue its role.
9 January 2002: Column 817W