Foulkes sets out his Lords reform plans

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LABOUR peer and former Lothians MSP George Foulkes has set out fresh plans to reform the House of Lords.

He said the plans presented, and since abandoned, by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg were “ill-judged and ill thought out”.

Lord Foulkes proposed a “two-stage evolution” with hereditary peers phased out, a retirement scheme and greater transparency of appointment, coupled with a constitutional convention to consider how an elected Lords would fit into the current system, taking account not only of its relationship with the Commons but also the devolved parliaments.

He said: “My own suggestion to that commission would be a senate of about 450 members elected to represent the nations and regions of the UK with a different remit which leaves the directly elected 
Commons supreme.”

He claimed such an outcome could be achieved within a 
decade.

He added: “Another positive advantage of this plan is that 
it provides a vehicle to look at the devolved parliaments and their relationship with 
Westminster, including the vexed issue of the West Lothian question, now better described as the English democratic 
deficit.”