Friday, February 22, 2008

Hereditary by-elections

Second reading of my House of Lords (Amendment) Bill this morning. The Tories say that the scheme for maintaining the number of hereditaries at 92, which was cobbled together by Jack Weatherill in 1999, was binding in honour on the two main parties' front benches, and thus on the House as a whole. But there is a well-established principle that Parliament can't bind its successors, and back-benchers of all Parties, who weren't part of the backstairs deal, have no obligation to stick to it. Not a single one of the speakers defended the by-elections on objective grounds

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