9 September 2021
Harriett Baldwin calls on Government to address House of Lords reform

Harriett Baldwin calls on the Government to make a statement on the future of the House of Lords where, effectively, 8% of the seats are reserved for men due to most hereditary peerages passing through the male line.

Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) (Con)

I hope that the Leader of the House shares my concern and that of so many colleagues across this House that in the other place an eighth of the seats are effectively reserved for men, because of male primogeniture and the hereditary peerages. I wonder whether he would timetable a statement in Government time about what the Government are planning to do to end this anachronism?

Mr Rees-Mogg (The Leader of the House of Commons)

There are some titles that go down the female line by special remainder, but my hon. Friend is quite right that it is not very many. The law in relation to the Crown was changed by this House a few years ago. The 90 remaining hereditary peers who are elected and the two who are there ex-officio, as she rightly says, do mainly pass through the male line. If anybody wishes to change that, it is open for them to bring forward proposals. There is a campaign to change it, but I cannot say that the Government have any immediate plans to adopt that campaign.