Government weighing up House of Lords relocation
Conservative party chairman James Cleverly has told Sky News that the government is exploring moving the House of Lords out of London permanently.
The Lords is set to temporarily move out of the Palace of Westminster around the year 2025 as part of the ongoing refurbishment works, but a permanent move is being considered.
The Sunday Times has suggested that York and Birmingham are both possible venues to permanently host the Lords in future, with a decision to relocate the chamber coming as part of a constitutional review due in the spring of 2020.
The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in the City of Westminster has been also been mooted as a potential temporary home for the Lords by a parliamentary committee in the past.
When asked about the proposals outlined in the Sunday Times report by Sky’s Sophy Ridge, Cleverly said: “It's one of a range of things that we are looking into. What we are looking at is a whole range of options about making sure every part of the UK feels properly connected to politics.
"Fundamentally what this is about is demonstrating to the people that we are going to do things differently.”
International development secretary Alok Sharma backed the idea, telling the BBC’s Andrew Marr that it was “a perfectly good thing” to be “connecting government to all parts of the country”.
Sharma said: "I think it's absolutely right that if you want to be a government of the people, you must reach out to people across the country.”
However, Labour MP Nadia Whittome has suggested that the move would be a hollow gesture, saying that “working class people” from all over the UK “don’t care about the unelected House of Lords”.
Whittome added: "We want jobs, we want proper investment and meaningful decentralisation of power.
"Replace the House of Lords with an elected chamber and move it to the North and then we're talking - but this is superficial, it's tinkering around the edges."