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Academic gives evidence before Commons Select Committee

28 June 2013

Dr Stephen Barber, Reader in Public Policy in the Department of Management at London South Bank University (LSBU), this week gave expert evidence to the House of Commons' Political and Constitutional Reform Select Committee - which is looking into reforming the House of Lords.

Dr Barber was questioned by MPs on the potential of smaller-scale changes to the membership and structure of the Upper House likely to command political consensus.

An expert on government, politics and policy, Dr Barber was invited to appear alongside two other specialists: Dr Meg Russell from UCL and Dr Chris Ballinger from Oxford. During the session, Dr Barber stressed the need for proposals to adopt some democratic legitimacy.

He said that the smaller scale reform of the House of Lords would be welcomed but that despite its potential significance it could not serve as a substitute for full-scale reform. Dr Barber also emphasised the importance of thinking of the reform as a 'package' rather than disparate measures and recommended the inquiry consider the long-term implications of reforms, rather than simply the impact they might have on the current chamber.

Dr Stephen Barber said: "The Select Committee has launched an important inquiry and its thoughtful approach is likely to produce constructive proposals which should prompt change in the composition and governance of the House of Lords."

Dr Stephen Barber's evidence session can be viewed on Parliament TV.

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