Reform of the House of Lords since 1997
in Parliamentary reform at Westminster
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This chapter outlines the House of Lords reform since 1997 and the role of the Labour Party government in the reform agenda. It employs historical institutional theory to analyse the events, as well as the language of the attitudinal and contextual approaches in order to understand what did and did not happen. The attitudinal approach, while setting out the conditions required for parliamentary reform to succeed, also places a great deal of emphasis on the presence of political will, which the contextual approach indicates will is often lacking because of the way that institutional norms and values structure political life at Westminster, and shape the logic of appropriateness used by MPs to determine their goals and actions. The chapter also discusses New Labour's commitment to Lords reform, the House of Lords Bill and the amendment proposed by former Speaker of the Commons Bernard Weatherill, the creation of the Royal Commission on Reform of the House of Lords in February 1999, window of opportunity and political leadership, and the creation of the Joint Committee on House of Lords reform in 2002.


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