‘Lords needs drastic overhaul to give North a bigger voice’

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A drastic shake-up of the House of Lords is crucial to boosting the North’s representation and influence in Westminster, a senior peer has claimed.

Lord Newby, who leads the 100-strong Liberal Democrat group in the second chamber, warns the current system has allowed peers from London and the South East to dominate proceedings.

However, he argues the creation of an elected House of Lords would not only improve the chamber’s legitimacy, but also give regions outside the capital a bigger voice. “If we are going to redress the imbalance between South and North in the country then we’ve got to redress the political imbalance,” he said.

“At the moment London and the South East is very heavily over-represented in the Lords... and whilst London has a very effective lobby, Yorkshire and the other northern regions don’t.

“Because members of the Lords have no democratic legitimacy, our voice is easily ignored by the Government.

“But if we could elect a block of peers representing Yorkshire and the Humber say, they would come with a mandate to promote the interests of the region in a way that noone else in Parliament currently has.”

The Lib Dems have previously proposed an elected chamber of around 450 
members.

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