To ask Her Majesty's Government what response the Cabinet Office has given to the enquiries of the European Petitions Committee regarding petition 1737/2008 on the position of hereditary Peers in respect of membership of the European Parliament. [HL1456]
The response to the Committee on Petitions from Ministry of Justice officials states that we would not agree that the European Parliament (House of Lords Disqualification) Regulations 2008 are discriminatory in nature. The position of hereditary Peers was given full consideration by the House of Lords during the debate held on those regulations on 14 October 2008. The response explains that the Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill that is currently before Parliament includes provision to allow a person who is a life Peer or an hereditary Peer who is a member of the House of Lords to resign at any time from the House of Lords. We consider that this provision, if it is approved by Parliament, will address the issues raised in petition 1737/2008, as it will ensure that any member of the House of Lords who is elected to the European Parliament may resign their membership of the House of Lords in order to take up his or her membership of the European Parliament.