Membership of the Joint Committee

In the comments on my previous post on the Joint Committee on the draft House of Lords Reform Bill, I was asked if the members of the committee had been appointed.  The members have been nominated, but have yet to be approved by the two Houses.  The motion to approve the House of Lords membership comes before the House next Wednesday.

For those interested, those nominated to serve are:


Conservative:  Gavin Barwell (Croydon Central), Oliver Heald (North-East Hertfordshire), Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest), Dr Daniel Poulter (Central Suffolk and North Ipswich), Laura Sands (South Thanet), John Stevenson (Carlisle)

Labour: Tom Clarke (Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill), Ann Coffey (Stockport), Bill Esterson (Sefton Central), Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central), Malcolm Wicks (Croydon North)

Liberal Democrat: John Thurso (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross)

DUP: Dr William McCrea (South Antrim)


Conservative: Professor Lord Norton of Louth, the Rt Hon. Baroness Shephard of Northwold, the Rt Hon. Lord Trefgarne, the Rt Hon. Lord Trimble

Labour: Baroness Andrews, the Rt Hon. Lord Rooker, the Rt Hon. Lord Richard, the Rt Hon. Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

Liberal Democrat: Baroness Scott of Needham Market, Lord Tyler

Cross-benches: Professor Lord Hennessy, Baroness Young of Hornsey

Lords Spiritual: The Bishop of Leicester

The contingent from the Lords includes a Nobel Prize winner, two professors (and a professor emeritus), a former Ambassador to the United Nations and EC Commissioner, a former First Minister of Northern Ireland, and six who have served as Government ministers.  The categories are not mutually exclusive.  The MPs include the well-known historian the Hon. Dr Tristram Hunt – the son of Lord Hunt of Chesterton.


About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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4 Responses to Membership of the Joint Committee

  1. Frank W. Summers III says:

    Lord Norton,
    But among likely voters and those likely to organize party support if the general election were held at the moment you first read my question would you say that they are retaining party base above 60% and trending in the contestable votes at a rate of sgnificant positive variance over the name recognition factor? Aren’t these the things that really matter?

    • Lord Norton says:

      Frank W. Summers III: If you mean that there may be more important issues on the political agenda, not least those that will actually affect how people vote, then I agree. This is very much a Westminster village issue.

      • Frank W. Summers III says:

        Lord Norton,
        My meaning in a mix of sarcasm and intended witicism was as follows:
        1. That the level of competence you indicate in this distinguished list is created when a group has breathing space and does not live in the hyper- electoral milieu where elections are not those which actually occur but are perpetual. In that you will have to trust me that William Jefferson Clinton has permanently cheapened our own system.

        2. I was trying to assert the value of independence in the HOL ,which I often have, depsite it being very attenuated compared to the House Charles Secondat described.

        3. I think the list is quite important.

        4. I never have disparaged elections and while you assert the supremacy of the lected House and all there will never be a full airing out of our differences of opinion and similarities in this venue. However, it occurs to me that a goodly number of these people have stood for elections elsewhere, they work with other elected bodies in rules openly reviewable by the elected MPS serving now. I believe that my main point is rather to mock the science of technical democracy as it exists in the US and is imitated elsewhere. The democratic element — supreme or not — is intended to shape and direct leadership under tradtional liberal views. It was never intended by any sane precursor that mere popularity at the moment would be the standard of excellence itself.

        My bitterness in this area is real and colors my response. Clinton is a gifted man and a better human now than then but he drove me from my party by denouncing the enlightened partisanship your list so embodies…

  2. Mr David Fredin says:

    Dear Lord Norton, I have couple of a questions for my lord, how long time will it possibly take before a Bill is on the table for the abolishion of the House of Lords, is it a year or less! And is it possibly since this reform is so criticised that the some of the Lords can recomend the Queen not to give her Royal Assent to a reform Bill, that abolishes the House of Lords. As I think, the Queen is in Her legal right to do just that. Am I right or not? At last, some words to the Joint Committe, will not an abolishion of the Lords lead to further reform by the modernizers. I can easily think they would aim at the Queen, to harmonize the institution of Monarchy with a reformed second chamber. Such as making Britain close to a Peoples Democracy, with the next monarch not being the Soverign, crowned, and a less glamorous. Should not the Joint Committee look at the future State Opening of Parliament, the role of the Queen, and if so way not see that some future members of the reformed Chamber, such as the Speaker of the House in fact is a Lord with some other officials. To brake this herritage compleatly is useless of not for an second and hidden agenda by some. Sincerely David Fredin.

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