UK Government Will Not Hold Referendum on Whether to Abolish the House of Lords

After receiving a petition with 169,873+ signatures, UK Parliament debated Monday on whether to hold a referendum to abolish the House of Lords. They concluded; “Comprehensive reform of House of Lords is not a priority for this parliament. Therefore, the Government does not intend to hold a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords.”

The petition, which asked for a referendum to allow people to vote on whether the House of Lords should be abolished or not, described the Peers as “a place of patronage where unelected and unaccountable individuals hold a disproportionate amount of influence and power which can be used to frustrate the elected representatives of the people.”

UK Government Response to the Petition:

As stated in our manifesto, comprehensive reform of the House of Lords is not a priority for this parliament.

Therefore, the Government does not intend to hold a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords.

As set out in the manifesto, comprehensive reform of the House of Lords is not a priority. Therefore, the Government does not intend to hold a referendum on the abolition of the House.

The Government is committed to ensuring that the House of Lords continues to fulfil its constitutional role as a revising and scrutinising chamber which respects the primacy of the House of Commons. We will also continue to work to ensure that the House of Lords remains relevant and effective by addressing issues such as its size.

The Lord Speaker’s committee on the size of the House of Lords, chaired by Lord Burns, made recommendations in October 2017 on ways of reducing the size of the House without requiring legislation. In response, The Prime Minister has written to the Lord Speaker and agreed to continue with the restraint she has shown so far when making appointments to the House. It is incumbent on all sides of the House to consider what they can do to further promote the culture of retirement. In light of the Prime Minister’s letter, the Lord Speaker has reconvened the Committee to consider next steps.

Cabinet Office

Westminster Hall – Monday 18 June 2018

NOTE: We just received this update:

“The Government’s response to this petition has changed. This change took place on 19 June 2018. The Committee wrote to the Government to ask for a new response which answered the petition more directly. The Government has produced a new response:”

As stated in our manifesto, comprehensive reform of the House of Lords is not a priority for this parliament.

Therefore, the Government does not intend to hold a referendum on the abolition of the House of Lords.

As set out in the manifesto, comprehensive reform of the House of Lords is not a priority. Therefore, the Government does not intend to hold a referendum on the abolition of the House.

The Government is committed to ensuring that the House of Lords continues to fulfil its constitutional role as a revising and scrutinising chamber which respects the primacy of the House of Commons. We will also continue to work to ensure that the House of Lords remains relevant and effective by addressing issues such as its size.

The Lord Speaker’s committee on the size of the House of Lords, chaired by Lord Burns, made recommendations in October 2017 on ways of reducing the size of the House without requiring legislation. In response, The Prime Minister has written to the Lord Speaker and agreed to continue with the restraint she has shown so far when making appointments to the House. It is incumbent on all sides of the House to consider what they can do to further promote the culture of retirement. In light of the Prime Minister’s letter, the Lord Speaker has reconvened the Committee to consider next steps.

Thanks,
The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament