Plans to reform the House of Lords are being abandoned after Conservatives “broke the coalition contract”, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has announced. Agreement on an elected Lords could not be reached with Tory opponents, he said, and the plans would be shelved rather than face a “slow death”. As a result, he said Lib Dem MPs could not now support Conservative-driven changes to Commons boundaries in 2015. Labour said the Lords climbdown was a “humiliation” for the coalition. Changes to the make-up of the Lords would have seen 80% of peers elected and the total number of members halved to 450.
An elected Lords is a long-cherished goal of the Lib Dems but one opposed by many Conservatives – more than 90 of whom defied the government in a vote on the issue in July. The deputy prime minister said he was “disappointed” to have to give way, adding that he had offered his Conservative partners a referendum on the issue in 2015 as part of a compromise deal but this had been rejected. He said the Conservatives could not take a “pick and choose” approach to the coalition agreement – which committed the government to bringing forward proposals for a wholly or largely elected body.
Full Article: BBC News – Nick Clegg: Lords reform plans to be abandoned.