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Exploring Parliament

Exploring Parliament (1st edn)

Cristina Leston-Bandeira and Louise Thompson
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date: 03 June 2023

p. 24423. Representation in the Lordslocked

p. 24423. Representation in the Lordslocked

  • Peter Dorey
  •  and Matthew Purvis


This chapter examines the issue of representation in the House of Lords. The existence of the unelected House of Lords has long been the subject of criticism, particularly from the Left. This is because the House of Lords today remains an almost wholly nominated, unelected, parliamentary institution, with most peers formally appointed by the Queen. However, some peers are also appointed by a House of Lords Appointments Commission, primarily those of a non-political nature. Such appointments have sparked accusations that the House of Lords is not representative, which runs counter to Britain's status as a parliamentary democracy. The chapter considers four discrete modes of representation and representativeness vis-à-vis the House of Lords: political representativeness, social representativeness, individual representation, and sectional representation.

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