Eleanor Laing MP raises concerns over an elected House of Lords

Speaking in the debate on the Queen’s Speech, Eleanor Laing welcomes reform of the House of Lords, but reaffirms her concerns that an elected House of Lords would undermine the position of the elected Members of the House of Commons and make them less likely to be able to hold the Government to account.

Mrs Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest) (Con): Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the whole matter of House of Lords reform could be dealt with quickly in this House if, as the Prime Minister said a short while ago, the Government brought forward a Bill that simply brought the House of Lords into the 21st century without trying to create another House of Commons at the other end of the corridor?

See Hansard for more details from this part of the debate.

Mrs Laing: I agree with my right hon. Friend that providing a check on the Government is Parliament’s most important role. Does he agree that having an elected House of Lords would undermine the position of the elected Members of the House of Commons and make them less likely to be able to hold the Government to account in this House, where the Prime Minister sits?

Mr Davis: I take my hon. Friend’s point, although I believe the greater problem would be legislative gridlock if too much legitimacy were given to the House of Lords. The simple fact is that over the course of the past century, these Houses have managed a pretty effective balance without crippling government. The position that we have arrived at still needs reform, but very careful reform.

See Hansard for more details from this part of the debate.