Sunderland deserves to be new home of House of Lords
By Ciaran Morrissey
As the Government confirmed that it is considering plans to move one half of Parliament to York, Liberal Democrats in Sunderland have called for the House of Lords to be relocated to Wearside instead.
Conservative Party Chairman James Cleverly MP confirmed over the weekend that the Government is considering moving the House of Lords from Westminster to a new building in York.
It has been reported that the move would be part of an effort to reconnect politics with voters outside of London.
The House of Lords currently has 795 members. The vast majority are appointed for life, with others there because they are one of the highest ranking bishops of the Church of England or because they are one of 92 remaining hereditary Peers.
Members of the House of Lords vote on, amend and scrutinise all legislation and hold the Government of the day to account for their decisions through questions, debates and committee hearings.
The relocation reports have promoted opposition Liberal Democrats in Sunderland to launch a campaign for the Upper House of Parliament to be re-housed on Wearside rather than York.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat campaigner for Hendon and Grangetown Ciaran Morrissey said:
"Moving the House of Lords to a new home outside of London is a very welcome idea and I hope it is something the Government will commit to.
"However, it is clear to us that Wearside would be a much better choice for relocating half of Parliament and that we would benefit far more from being the new home of the Lords than York would.
"Sunderland has several perfect potential sites for the House of Lords - including of course on the Vaux site, the vast majority of which is still long overdue for redevelopment and would provide the perfect venue.
"Not only would this be a huge economic boost to the city, it would also inevitably lead to a greater focus on redevelopment of Sunderland. Having Parliamentarians, civil servants and the media being outside the Westminster bubble would also give them a greater sense of people's concerns and priorities outside of London."