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> House of Lords to move to Birmingham?
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Brett-Butler
post Jan 19 2020, 10:33 AM
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Boris Johnson is apparently considering moving the 2nd chamber, The House of Lords, outside of Westminster to York or Birmingham. From PoliticsHome (via the paywalled Sunday Times):

QUOTE
The Prime Minister has ordered work to start on the shake-up that could also see Birmingham as a frontrunner destination for the upper chamber.

According to The Sunday Times, a constitutional review being launched in the Spring will consider moving the Lords away from London.

Under the bid to move more than 800 peers outside of Westminster, a disused government-owned site near York railway station has been earmarked as a potential place to set up a new chamber.

A Number 10 source told the paper: “This will serve as a strong signal that we are serious about refocusing attention and investment away from London. It will set an example for the rest of the public sector and, of course, businesses looking to expand beyond the M25.”

And a government source added: “The York proposal is much further along. The PM is also keen to have parliamentary sessions in the regions, be it Sunderland or Manchester, so people get a chance to feel democracy in action first hand.”

The House of Commons is also planned to tour the country for several days in cities outside of London, as a way to connect Parliament better to outside the Westminster bubble.

It comes after the Conservative party confirmed it is moving its campaign headquarters outside of the capital, likely to the Midlands in another show of trying to consolidate its influence in former Labour heartlands.


I can see the logic in why Boris would want to do it, given how the Tories started to build up a base outside of London in the last election, moving the offices of power away from Westminster makes their new voters in that area feel more connected to what is still divisively known as the "Westminster bubble". Although how moving a group of over 800 largely posh, largely unelected people prancing in sheepskins will do that is not something I can completely understand.

What are your thoughts on moving parliament away from London and into the north? A good or not so good idea?
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Steve201
post Jan 19 2020, 10:41 AM
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Doesn't make a difference, an elected chamber or nothing for me. This is just chipping round the edges of a chamber not fit for purpose in the 21st century!
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Suedehead2
post Jan 19 2020, 11:48 AM
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I think we be can safely assume that any attempt by a Labour government to do this would be portrayed as a way of making it harder for MPs and Lords to plot against the government.

There is a lot of merit in moving one part of the legislature away from London although it is arguable that Birmingham isn't far enough. That said, I would consider reform of the make-up of the second chamber to be far more important an issue than where it sits. This looks like a typical Cummings manoeuvre to distract attention from the more important issues.
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Iz~
post Jan 19 2020, 01:09 PM
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Makes me think of the medieval travelling courts. With possibly a bit more merit. But ultimately a distraction that will probably not come to pass and involve the government doing nothing about reform of the system. Introducing some form of electoral system into the upper house is the far more glaring issue that's being glossed over here.
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Bré
post Jan 19 2020, 01:16 PM
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This is supposed to make what difference exactly?
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Doctor Blind
post Jan 19 2020, 01:20 PM
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I'm assuming this won't happen until HS2 is completed, aka: never.

My general thoughts are similar to Suedey's in that it is merely a distraction - real change in where power lies is what is needed, a more federal UK with powers devolved to those regions but it won't happen.
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Iz~
post Jan 19 2020, 01:21 PM
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QUOTE(Bré @ Jan 19 2020, 01:16 PM) *
This is supposed to make what difference exactly?


Keep the spectre of Bercow far away from the Commons in case his nomination is successful.

This is precisely the point, it will make no difference, it's a show of no real substance to counter the argument that the government is too London-centric, without actually doing anything about that.
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Harve
post Jan 19 2020, 01:46 PM
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QUOTE(Brett-Butler @ Jan 19 2020, 11:33 AM) *
I can see the logic in why Boris would want to do it, given how the Tories started to build up a base outside of London in the last election, moving the offices of power away from Westminster makes their new voters in that area feel more connected to what is still divisively known as the "Westminster bubble". Although how moving a group of over 800 largely posh, largely unelected people prancing in sheepskins will do that is not something I can completely understand.

To be fair, the Tory base has always been outside London, and they haven't done well within it* since the early 90s.

*Notable exception to the wannabe Essex and Kent boroughs of Havering, Bexley and Bromley.
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