Intergovernmental Organisations Select Committee

Lord Soley

I am the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Organisations Select Committee and yesterday we took evidence from Mr Sy, the Director of Partnerships and External Relations at UNAIDS in Geneva. The Committee is hearing evidence about communicable diseases and the way intergovernmental organisations are dealing with them. It is an important area of policy because globalisation…

modernising the 'men in tights'?

Baroness D'Souza

The House of Lords authorities have agreed to recruit an experienced facilities Director to oversee all the more practical aspects of running the House. Up until now this task has been carried out by Black Rod otherwise known as Gentleman Usher, Secretary to the Lord Great Chamberlain and Serjeant at Arms. This post goes back…

Government vulnerability…

Lord Norton

No one party has a majority in the Lords. There are three groupings of similar size – Labour with 216 peers, the Conservatives with 202 and the Cross-benchers with 196 – plus 78 Liberal Democrats, the Lords Spiritual (26) and the law lords (12). As a result, the party in government has to engage with…

Wanstead High

Lord Norton

Another school visit this afternoon. I spoke to Year 12 students studying Politics at Wanstead High School (pictured) in North-East London. One of the questions I was asked was ‘Do you enjoy working in the Lords and would you stand for election if it was to be elected?’ The answer was yes and no. Peers…

The Lords in action

Lord Norton

I commented in one of my posts about the fact that media reports about the House of lords tended to show pictures of the State Opening of Parliament and not the House in action. One or two of those who commented made the fair point that I should be illustrating my post with a picture…

Oh Lord!

Lord Tyler

Apparently we are going live today. So far, our blog confessions have had a very limited audience, but now anyone may see what we have been doing. Not that I have anything to hide. Indeed, I suspect that most members of the Lords would be only too happy if the public could and did take…

Parliamentary outreach

Lord Norton

Recognising that the House of Lords does not get a great deal of media coverage, and as such its work is not well known to the public, the Lord Speaker, Baroness Hayman, has initiated an outreach programme to schools and other institutions. Given that she cannot accept all the invitations she receives, other members of…

Lords and media 2

Lord Norton

Peers complain at times when the media pay little attention to the House. On occasion, though, they have grounds for complaint when the House is covered. There are times when reporting of the House derives from a very limited knowledge of the institution, resulting in inaccurate information being carried. Perhaps the most consistent bugbear as…

Lords and media

Lord Norton

Peers sometimes complain that the House gets little media attention and sometimes have to complain when it does! In this post, I will address the former. The absence of regular media attention is understandable. The Commons is the elected chamber and the arena in which the grand debate between the parties occurs. The cameras go…