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Lord Speaker's Committee on the Size of the House

Volume 777: debated on Tuesday 20 December 2016


My Lords, I would like to make a short statement. On 5 December, the House debated a Motion in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Cormack, on the size of the House. The Motion sought agreement that the House believes that its size,

“should be reduced, and methods should be explored by which this could be achieved”.

Sixty-one Members spoke during the debate and the Motion was carried unanimously. A feature of many of the speeches that day was that we should not delay in carrying out such an examination. Accordingly, I am setting up a six-member Lord Speaker’s Committee, drawn entirely from the Back Benches, to examine the possible methods by which the House could be reduced in size. I am pleased to announce that the noble Lord, Lord Burns, has agreed to chair the committee and that the other members will be the noble Lord, Lord Beith, the noble Baronesses, Lady Browning, Lady Crawley and Lady Taylor of Bolton, and the noble Lord, Lord Wakeham. Further details are set out in a Written Ministerial Statement from the Senior Deputy Speaker, which is available in the Printed Paper Office. The committee will get down to work as soon as the House resumes after the Christmas Recess.

I would just add that this is not an easy task. However, if this issue can be settled, I hope that the public will be better able to recognise the true value of this House.