Sector could be in on peer selection

by Francois Le Goff

Voluntary organisations, faith groups and professional bodies such as the TUC would be able to nominate new members of the House of Lords under Labour plans to reform the chamber.

The plans arose out of Labour's National Policy Forum last week. They were initially meant to be circulated internally - but were subsequently leaked to the press.

"It was a discussion document that came from a group of 10 people within the Labour Party," said a spokeswoman from the House of Lords information office.

"It has been a Labour interest for some time that the House of Lords should be more representative of society.

"But which bodies would you let in? The voluntary sector is so diverse that it would be quite difficult to implement."

Five new non-party political peers were appointed last week. These included Michael Hastings, the chairman of Crime Concern and a trustee of Volunteering England.

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