Former lord speaker says Michael Gove’s plans to move the House of Lords out of London are ‘bonkeroony’
A former lord speaker has dismissed a suggestion by Michael Gove that peers should move to another part of the country while the House of Lords undergoes restoration work as “bonkeroony” and says the proposals are a “punishment” for challenging government legislation.
The Levelling Up Secretary is said to have written to Lord McFall of Alcluith suggesting locations including Wales, Scotland and Stoke-on-Trent, Burnley and Sunderland in England.
In the letter, reported in the Sunday Times, Mr Gove said he knows “cities and towns across the United Kingdom would be pleased to extend their hospitality to peers”.
Mr Gove is quoted as saying that having “carefully reviewed the proposed arrangements”, he “will not support the use of the QEII Centre as an alternative location” but said: “As the minister responsible for levelling up, it is clear to me that the House of Lords moving elsewhere, even for a temporary period, would be widely welcomed.”
“I propose to establish dedicated liaison points for you in my department to support you in identifying a suitable location for the House of Lords in the North, Midlands, South West, Scotland or Wales.
“I would, of course, be happy to meet you to discuss this.”
Baroness Hayman, a former Labour MP, said it did not make sense to move the upper chamber out of London while the Commons remain in the capital.
“I think it’s – what did Michael Gove say – bonkeroony?” she told BBC Radio 4’s The World This Weekend.
Lady Hayman said she believed ministers wanted to punish the Lords for challenging the Government over important legislation in the last parliamentary session.
“I think they are really quite angry with the House of Lords at the moment and, therefore, kick them out. It’s punishment.”
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