Nick Clegg admits House of Lords reform defeat
Nick Clegg has declared the Lords’ reform plans will be abandoned after the Conservatives refused to support the Liberal Democrats’ agenda.
David Cameron made a U-turn against the coalition plans to reform the House of Lords after he failed to get enough support to force the measure through the House of Commons, forcing the Government to shelve the plan until September.
Nick Clegg in his statement acknowledged his disappointment at the new developments, however, he remained positive that the bill would receive an “overwhelming vote” in favour of the reform at second reading.
He said: “To modernisers and campaigners, let me say this: I am as disappointed as you that we have not delivered an elected Lords this time around. But Lords Reform has always been a case of two steps forward, one step back.
And my hope is that we will return to it, in the next Parliament emboldened by the overwhelming vote in favour of our Bill at the second reading.”
He then accused the Conservative party of breaking the contract by not honouring the commitment to Lords reform. He also condemned the Conservative rebels accusing them of picking parts of contracts that they like instead of agreeing to it all.
Nick Clegg also informed David Cameron that he would instruct his party members to oppose boundary changes in retaliation to the Conservatives’ failure to support the Lords reform.
“Coalition works on mutual respect; it is a reciprocal arrangement, a two-way street. So I have told the Prime Minister that when, in due course, Parliament votes on boundary changes for the 2015 election I will be instructing my party to oppose them.
“When part of contract is broken, it is normal to amend that contract in order to move on.”
He justified his decision stating that Lords reform and boundaries were both part of a package of overall political reform and delivering one but not the other would create an imbalance in the political system and the coalition.