CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

JUSTICE – HOUSE OF LORDS REFORM – 19 July 2007

Dr Julian Lewis: Does the Secretary of State [for Justice] agree that if Lord Malloch-Brown and Lord West of Spithead had had to stand for election, neither would have been able to achieve the experience at the United Nations or as Chief of Defence Intelligence which precisely fits them so well to be part of a revising Chamber and, indeed, Ministers in his Government? Is it not the case that if the 100 percent proposal – the one with the support of this House – goes through, there will be no prospect of such people getting into the other House, and that if the 80 percent proposal goes through, the people with the experience will not have the democratic mandate and the people with the democratic mandate will not have the experience?

[The Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor (Mr Jack Straw): That is pretty insulting as regards the kind of people who will be attracted to a second Chamber. I know that the hon. Gentleman is one of the troglodytes on the Conservative Benches. I acknowledge that there is a case for an appointed element. That is why I supported a 50 percent appointed element and then, when that failed catastrophically, went for an 80 percent elected element with a 20 percent appointed element. There will be much to be said on this on all sides until we finally reach agreement.]