Stages and muddles: the House of Lords Act 1999

Kelso, Alexandra (2011) Stages and muddles: the House of Lords Act 1999. [in special issue: A Century of Constitutional Reform] Parliamentary History, 30, (1), 101-113. (doi:10.1111/j.1750-0206.2010.00238.x).


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As one of the most significant pieces of constitutional legislation enacted in the last century, the House of Lords Act 1999 radically reformed the membership of the second chamber of the Westminster parliament by removing almost all the hereditary peers who sat there. The act formed a key part of the constitutional reform agenda of the Labour government elected in 1997, but despite its massive majority in the house of commons, eliminating the hereditary peerage proved far harder than might first have been imagined. This article seeks to explore the events surrounding that act, the political machinations and deals leading up to it, the course of the legislation through parliament, and the intricacies of the process involved in securing constitutional reform of this magnitude. It concludes by examining the consequences of the act for subsequent attempts at further second chamber reform during the rest of the Labour government's time in office.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1750-0206.2010.00238.x
ISSNs: 0264-2824 (print)
1750-0206 (electronic)
Keywords: conservative party, elected upper house, hereditary peers, house of lords bill, labour government, legislation, parliament, royal commission on reform of the house of lords, weatherill amendment
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Politics and International Relations
Faculty of Social and Human Sciences > Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations
ePrint ID: 152125
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
February 2011Published
24 January 2011Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 13 May 2010 14:36
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:24

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