Membership of the House of Lords

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Membership of the House of Lords
Life peers:
Main parties nominating a number of new life peers each year to replace the ones who
died
Parties are able to have a certain number of peers in proportion to their representation
in the commons. For example Conservative will have 186 while Liberal Democrats will
have 72 this is because conservatives have more seats
To prevent domination of number of life peers with no party allegiance are nominated
each year to became crossbenchers and represent presence in the lords(independent)
Guarantee the government do not gain overall majority
Neutral life peers- nominated by existing peers and appointed by the Independent
Appointments Commission, most of them are `life achievers' e.g. Lord Hastings (former
TV executive)
Hereditary peers:
There 91 hereditary peers in the house of lords (may 2010)
Owed the position by being the eldest son of hereditary peer who had died
Labour tried to reduce the number of peers to 92, it is said that even these peers might lose
their right to vote
Bishops and Archbishops:
Members of the Church of England
Represent the fact that the Church of England remains the `established' religion of the UK
Controversial- majority of the citizens do not regularly observe any religion, also they no
longer represent the religions traditions, other religions don't feel represented
A Small group can be influential when moral and religious issues are at issue
Politically neutral, type of pressure group within the Lords
2009- 2010:
House of Lords contained all senior members of the judiciary, called the `law lords'
Now their function as the highest appeal court was replaced by the Supreme court
These peers have no formal function but their presence remains important
The wealth of legal experience in the House of Lords gives it a special ability to contribute to
the legislative proves
Lords can also examine proposals form a legal point of view
Significance of the membership of the Lords:
As there are peers government do not gain an absolute majority
Peers tend to be more independent even if they're in a part, as politics is not part of
their principal occupation, whips have little power over them
The Church of England is strongly represented, as is the legal profession and the judiciary
The membership of the House of lords is likely to be reformed after 2010

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Why has is became more significant?
Increasing proportion of its membership began to their role more seriously by attending
regularly and making themselves specialists in certain fields
To some extent this is a result of party leaderships choosing professional politicians to be a
lord
The labour reform of the Lords (2000) remove 92 hereditary peers which gave the lords
greater authority
The lords taken the role of guardian of individual rights against government that have been
accused of being too dictatorial
The Commons and Lords:…read more

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