MPs fight to change chamber
CONSERVATIVE MP Mark Harper, who is tasked with pushing through a controversial shake-up of the House of Lords, has urged party colleagues to get behind plans in the face of a growing revolt.
The Constitutional affairs minister, who represents the Forest of Dean, made the rallying call as the historic legislation was formally introduced to Parliament.
It would introduce an 80 per cent elected Upper House and slim membership down from 800 to 450.
Ministers insist the reforms will maintain the primacy of the House of Commons within Parliament.
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Tory MP for Tewkesbury Laurence Robertson is among those expected to vote against the plans.
It is set to seriously strain the Coalition being the remaining centrepiece of Liberal Democrat constitutional reform plans, following defeat in last year's referendum on voting reform.
Mr Harper said: "There's a simple principle that people who make the law should be voted for by those who have to obey the law. It was in the manifestos of all three political parties and it was in the Coalition agreement.
Mr Harper accused the opposition of "playing silly games". Labour is to join with Conservative rebels to vote down a motion setting out its passage through parliament.
But Labour leader in the Lords Baroness Royall of Blaisdon said: "It is clear we need jobs and a change of economic strategy, but the government is instead taking the bizarre decision to place Lords reform at the centre of its agenda."