House of Lords Bill — Hereditary peers to be elected by House of Lords members — rejected — 16 Feb 1999

The majority No voters rejected an amendment to the House of Lords Bill. The amendment sought to allow a number of hereditary peers to remain in the House of Lords, 75 of which would be elected by holders of a hereditary peerage and 14 elected by members of the House of Lords.[1] However, it was defeated.

The amendment was virtually identical to the Weatherill Amendment (introduced by Lord Weatherill in the House of Lords on 11 May 1999). The Weatherill Amendment enshrined a compromise between Tony Blair and Viscount Cranborne, the Leader of the Conservative Party in the House of Lords from 1994 until 1998. This compromise was agreed in November 1998 where the government could remove the vast majority of hereditary peers from the House of Lords but 92 would still remain. These 92 would be chosen by their peers in the House of Lords.

The reason the Tories introduced the amendment was because they were concerned that the House of Lords would lose some of its independent nature. Eleanor Laing MP explains in the debate:[2]

  • Amendment No. 2 would include in the interim second Chamber a number of hereditary peers elected by the Members of the House of Lords. Such a system would strengthen the interim House because it would keep within it the element of independence while adding to the legitimacy of the hereditary peers who would remain because their tenure would depend on a double condition: first, their birth and, secondly, their election by the Members of their own House. I am not claiming that that would create a perfect situation, but it is a much better solution than that proposed in the Bill.


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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con0 125 (+2 tell)078.4%
Lab292 (+2 tell) 0070.5%
LDem30 0065.2%
PC1 0025.0%
SNP3 0050.0%
Total:326 125071.7%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

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no rebellions

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