Speeches sourced from the Labour party’s online archive More…


Hilary Benn MP, Labour's Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, in a speech to the Hansard Society today, will set out the Labour Party’s commitment to a 100% elected House of Lords and call on the Tory-led government to provide for this in the Bill expected to appear shortly.

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Hilary Benn will say:

"This is an issue of principle and must not become one of tactics. At a time when people are taking to the streets across the Middle East and North Africa demanding to have a say in who represents them, how could anyone contemplate reforming our system on any other basis than full democracy?

"This Bill will be an early test of the Liberal Democrats’ new-found determination to say what they think in public, as the coalition determines its policy. We will all be watching to see whether they stand up for a wholly elected second chamber."

Hilary Benn will also argue that now is the time for further parliamentary reform. He will call for: earlier sitting times on a Tuesday, with Private Members Bills moved to Tuesday evenings; the establishment of a House Business Committee; allowing Select Committees to table amendments to legislation; and using the ability of the Backbench Business Committee to enable MPs to vote on these and other reforms.He will also talk about the need to restore trust in politics, and will say:

"The changes I have set out tonight – which some might not see as relevant to restoring trust – are in fact all about doing so. Because by giving MPs more of a chance to speak up on behalf of others, people will feel they are being better represented."

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