I am not in favour of the House of Lords and would vote for its abolition. I believe in a ‘one chamber’ Parliament with power residing in the House of Commons which is, as you know, fully elected. There is, however, one scenario where I do believe that there is an argument for a second chamber.
In the Federal Republic of Germany there is a two chamber system. The Bundestag is the Lower House which is elected by a mixed system of ‘first past the post’ and ‘proportional representation’ and the Upper House, the Bundesrat, consists of members who are nominated by the different Lander in proportion to the size of the population in that particular state.
Britain does not have a fully-fledged federal system of Government but there are Parliaments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland who have varying powers and if there were to be an English Parliament as well then I believe that there is a case for each of those four regional Parliaments to appoint representatives in an Upper House in order to, as is the case in Germany, protect the interests of those devolved Parliaments. The Bundesrat in Germany has a clearly defined set of powers but the Lower House, Bundestag, is still the predominant chamber.
As I have said were Britain to move towards a federal system with each of the four countries of the United Kingdom having their own Parliament then I can see an argument for having a similar system involving a second chamber but under the current system we have I can see no justification for having a second chamber.
I hope this makes my views clear on this subject and I have moved the following amendment to the Bill.
Roger Godsiff MP has moved the following clause to the Reform of the House of Lords Bill
Abolition of the House of Lords
(1) The House of Lords is abolished
(2) Any requirement to consult or to obtain the agreement of the House of Lords is rescinded
(3) The Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 are repealed.