Labour must fight lead the fight for secular Lords Reform, Labour Humanists have said in response to a parliamentary report, published today, which recommends keeping reserved places for Church of England Bishops in a reformed House of Lords and that the ‘Appointments Commission consider faith’
when appointing peers.
Commenting on the report, Labour Humanists’ chair Naomi Phillips said, ‘The Labour Party campaigned on a policy position and manifesto pledge for a 100% elected House of Lords – and that means no reserved places for Bishops. The Bishops’ place in Parliament has nothing to do with merit or democracy but because of an outdated, sexist, unequal tradition which has no place in a truly reformed second chamber. Campaigning against the proposals to retain a reserved and privileged place for Bishops in Parliament is not just a secularist position, it should be the Labour position.
‘Retaining, even at a reduced number than at present, the Church of England boys’ club in Parliament would not only be an embarrassment, it would send a clear signal that those of other religions or of no religion have a second-class status in our democracy.’