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John Penrose - Cabinet Office

The Government has commissioned Lord Strathclyde to lead a review into how to secure the decisive role of the elected House of Commons in the passage of legislation.

By long-standing convention the House of Lords does not seek to challenge the primacy of the elected House on spending and taxation. It also does not reject statutory instruments, save in exceptional circumstances. Until last month, only five statutory instruments had been rejected by the House of Lords since World War II, none of which related only to a matter of public spending and taxation.

The purpose of the review is to examine how to protect the ability of elected Governments to secure their business in Parliament in light of the operation of these conventions.

The review will consider in particular how to secure the decisive role of the elected House of Commons in relation to its primacy on financial matters, and secondary legislation.

Lord Strathclyde will be supported in his work by a small panel of experts:

  • Jacqy Sharpe, former Clerk of Legislation in the House of Commons and Clerk to the Joint Committee on Conventions in 2006;
  • Sir Stephen Laws, former First Parliamentary Counsel; and
  • Sir Michael Pownall, former Clerk of the Parliaments

Lord Strathclyde and the panel of experts will not be paid a fee for their work on the review. Lord Strathclyde will aim to submit his recommendations to the Prime Minister by the end of the year.


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