David Cameron studies plans for multi-faith Lords.
Replacing everything. Even themselves. “Multi-faith” Lords means Islam. Natural solution, final solution: what’s the difference anyhow?
“The English are not worth saving as a race” â€“
Sure. Right next to them are ‘Lord’ Ahmed and ‘Baroness’ Warsi and a whole lot more Islamic parasites who are just licking their chops to replace Â them all.
David Cameron is considering plans to create a “multi-faith” House of Lords where Muslim imams could sit alongside Anglican and Catholic bishops.
The controversial suggestion is revealed in a paper drawn up by Tory officials which calls for a wide range of different churches to be represented once reforms to the Upper House are carried out.
Currently 26 Anglican bishops have seats in the Lords. But Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, is drawing up a draft bill setting out wholesale changes to the Lords that are expected to include provisions for hundreds of existing peers, including the bishops, to be evicted while at least 80 per cent of new members are elected.
The paper, produced by the Conservative Christian Fellowship, says: “Christians need to enter the debate and make it clear that we value the presence of the Lords Spiritual, but this doesn’t have to mean unquestioning support for the status quo.
“There is a strong argument that our legislature would also benefit from the wisdom of leaders of Baptist, Catholic, Methodist and black-led congregations.
“A broad bench of Lords Spiritual drawn from a range of churches in Britain could provide a powerful vision of unity.”
The Prime Minister is said to favour the idea because he is determined that the House of Lords is not turned into a secular institution and that it retains a link with faith-based organisations. Mr Clegg’s bill, which is being negotiated with senior Conservative ministers and the Labour frontbench, had been due to be unveiled last month.
However, the plans have been delayed by the forthcoming referendum on voting reform and Mr Clegg is now understood to be preparing to unveil the blueprint in the coming months.
Senior Conservatives are drawing up a range of alternative reform proposals, amid fears that Mr Clegg’s changes will be too radical.
One concern is that Mr Clegg wants to abolish the 26 bishops or “Lords Spiritual”. They are all drawn from the established Church of England, and Mr Clegg will argue that they are an anomaly in a modern, democratic chamber.
The Conservatives hope to counter that by proposing that the Lords Spiritual become multi-faith.
That would mean a range of Christian denominations, including Roman Catholics and black Pentecostal leaders, sitting on a bench of “spiritual peers”, whose numbers might also include representatives of other religions such as Islam.
The prospect of imams sitting alongside bishops is bound to prove highly controversial and raise fresh questions about the links between church and state.
But Tory insiders point out that there are already Catholic, Muslim and Jewish peers in the Lords. The Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is a life peer, as is the Chairman of the Conservative Party, Baroness Warsi, a Muslim.
One senior Tory insider said: “It is inconceivable that we continue with a faith element to the Lords without Catholic bishops being represented. It is also high time black Pentecostal leaders were better represented. As such we are going to have to consider whether other faiths are represented as well.
“The idea of imams in the House of Lords may upset some people but that is better than not having anything spiritual at all.
“We must have a spiritual element to the Lords. Britain is Christian but not solely Christian, so this would seem a natural solution.”
The Tories’ alternative plan for Lords reform is also thought to include proposals to phase in the elected peers rather than introduce them in one go.
One proposal gathering pace is for 76 new peers to be elected in the first instance, based on the constituency boundaries used for European elections.
The size of the House would be cut down from 792 to about 500. Currently, the house is so overcrowded that peers often row as they jostle for seats and speeches sometimes have to be limited to three minutes each. Hundreds do not have desks or offices.
One proposal to reduce the size of the House involves bringing in a retirement age of 75 â€“ the same as high court judges- which would eject several hundred peers immediately.
But there are many sticking points. Under Mr Clegg’s proposal, elections for at least 80% elected peers would be held under the Alternative Vote system.
Many Tories are concerned that this would create a chamber that felt bold enough to constantly challenge the authority of the Commons and would risk constitutional crisis.
However, Mr Cameron is said to be considering whether to accept Mr Clegg’s proposal for a majority elected element in order to shore up the Deputy Prime Minister’s position.
Lords reform is a long-standing Lib Dem commitment and part of the party’s wider constitutional reform agenda. With the “Yes to AV” campaign trailing badly in the polls, Mr Clegg is said to be more determined than ever to be radical.
The Lib Dem leader believes that overseeing historic changes to the Lords will partly off-set the disappointment the party would feel if his proposal to change the electoral system is rejected in the referendum on May 5.
Mr Clegg’s plans are currently being considered by a cross-party Leaders Group, which has kept the proposals under wraps and is facing criticism for being overly secretive.
All three main parties’ manifestos contained a commitment to some form of elected second chamber.
But neither Conservative nor Labour peers will be bullied into what they see as unnecessary and bad reform
“The Lords must be an effective working revising second chamber, not a blocking chamber or just a retirement home for MPs,” said one senior Conservative insider. “We will not accept proposals which store up a constitutional crisis.”