“What is a rebel? A man who says no…”

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Yesterday the coalition suffered its greatest rebellion since it came to power when 91 Tory MPs opposed plans to elect 80% of members of the House of Lords.

The Lib Dems have warned that if Tory MPs fail to deliver this key part of the coalition deal then they may not back plans to change constituency boundaries that would benefit Conservatives.

The Government still won the vote with a majority of 338 but only after scrapping a vote to limit the time for debating the Bill to 10 days.

The key points of the House of Lords reform plans are:

  • Reducing the number of members from 826 to 450
  • 80% of members to be elected
  • The remaining 20% would be appointed by an Appointments Committee on a non-party basis
  • Peers would serve a non-renewable 15-year term
  • Reducing the number of bishops from 26 to 12
  • Members would not have the title “Lord” or “Baroness”

The Tory rebels included David Davis, Nadine Dorries, Zac Goldsmith, Louise Mensch, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

26 Labour MPs joined the rebellion, including Margaret Beckett, David Blunkett and Kate Hoey.

HLAD

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