Rory Rebels Against Government Proposals for House of Lords Reform
Rory voted against the government on its proposal to abolish the House of Lords. He was one of 91 Conservative MPs who opposed plans which would have created a “senate” of politicians elected for 15 year terms without having to face re-election. This was the second largest rebellion within a party since the Second World War.
Rory added: “I am very sad to have to vote against the Government, but the British Constitution is the fundamental law that protects us all and I don’t believe that Parliament should ever attempt to change such fundamentals without a free vote, or a referendum.”
Due to the size of the rebellion, the Government was forced to withdraw the programme motion, and the reforms are now on hold.
In a very well-attended speech towards the end of the two-day debate Rory said: “Perhaps the greatest democratic challenge for this country in the 21st century is the constitution. It is in that respect that we are behind every other country in the world. Not a single responsible country remains that allows itself to change constitutional law as though it were ordinary law. The constitution protects the citizen from the Government. For this reason, the Government, who are temporary, have no right to interfere with the constitution of the people.
Today we find ourselves isolated in the world as the only country – the source of constitutionalism – that tries to behave as though there is no difference between constitutional law and non-constitutional law.
Let Hon. Members together take the great opportunity to ensure that constitutional change happens in future only through a referendum.”