The house of lords has often caused controversy as it grows off of unelected members and hereditary peers. After the house of lords act 1999, it was passed that just 92 hereditary peers would sit in the house of lords, a significant cut back from the previous hundreds. The house of lords holds significant power, they can scrutinise and delay legislation. This means they can help to shape laws. The controversy surrounding the lords stems from the possibility of bias. It has been speculated that the parties in power often flood the house of lords with supporters of their own parties. Creating the ever debated question: is the house of lords truly able to provide valid scrutiny? argueably yes, in many ways the lords are still able to provide their original purpose as there remains specialists in certian feilds that are still able to supply reliable information. However, it is questionable and much debated on whether or not there are better replacements that can offer unbias opinions.  Sir Keir Starmer’s replacement of the house of lords involves a new reformed upper chamber elected by the voters, even this sparks disagreements within the house of commons as the prospect of another house full of elected politicians and mandates could only lead to a clash between the two.


Without the house of lords, we risk the possibility of passing undemocriatic and unscrutinsed bills and legislation, but with the house of lords we also risk the possibility of passing undemocratic and unscrutinised bills and legislation.


It leaves a seemingly unsolvable dilemma, removing the hereditary peers would leave only a fish tank full of conservative goldfish watched closely through glass by the prime minister but leave the hereditary peers and we are left with possibly uneducated, undeserving members. Abolish the house overall and the constitution loses a large amount of scrutiny and democracy. Perhaps a split between both an elected and unelected member system could satisfy both but then, of course, is the debate of which members to rid the house of lords of. It seems the government too are unsure on how to deal with the house of lords as this may look to be the sixth house of lords reform. An often asked question is whether or not the constitutional reform surrounding the house of lords has gone far enough, has it made the house of lords as democratic as possible?


The most recent reform act in the house of lords was in May 2014 and allowed the expulsion of members in specific circumstances. This circulated more power back to the prime minister supporting them to maintain control of the house. Possibly the most significant and seen as the most democratic, as mentioned earlier, was the house of lords act 1999 which reduced the number of hereditary peers from over 600 to just 92. The original attempt of this act, by the then prime minister Tony Blair, was to completely remove all hereditary peers, however he was forced to remain at 92 by the lords themselves. Arguably this proves the overarching power of the lords and highlights the need for further reform.


Perhaps the abolishment of the lords is a concept in need of more coverage and one to be built up to not abruptly suggested and passed.