House of Lords proposals could limit new peers to 15-year term, reports say

Updated: 

New peers could be limited to 15 years in the House of Lords under proposals being drawn up to slim down Parliament's second chamber, according to reports.

Time limits are known to be one of the issues under consideration by a committee set up by the Lord Speaker Lord Fowler in December to look at ways of reducing the size of the Upper House, which has almost 800 members.

Now The Times has reported the committee chaired by crossbencher Lord Burns will recommend a 15-year term for new peers.

Lord Fowler set up a committee in December to look at ways of reducing the size of the upper house
Lord Fowler set up a committee in December to look at ways of reducing the size of the upper house (PA)

The committee's report could also call on the four biggest groupings in the Lords - Conservatives with 252 peers, Labour with 199, the 180 crossbenchers and 100 Liberal Democrats - to accept cuts in the size of their blocs.

A spokesman for the House of Lords authorities declined to comment on a report which is yet to be published.

The House of Lords is the second largest legislative body in the world, after the Chinese People's Congress.

Peers voted unanimously in December to reduce their own numbers.

Announcing the creation of the Burns committee, Lord Fowler said the reform would not be "an easy task", but added: "Hopefully if this issue can be settled, the public will be better able to recognise the true value of this House."