John Smith’s paper on reform debated in the House of Lords

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A PAPER written by a Stamford man on the reform of the House of Lords was mentioned in Parliament.

John Smith, who lives in St George’s Square, Stamford and is secretary of the Mercury’s archive trust, put together his paper called A Reformed House of Lords: Appointed or Elected?

In the Queen’s Speech today (Wednesday), David Cameron announced plans to push forward with reforms, which would mean a smaller and elected chamber.

Mr Smith was delighted his paper was mentioned by Lord Low of Dalston in a debate on Monday last week.

Lord Loe said: “John Smith of Stamford, Lincolnshire, submitted a well worked out scheme of indirect election from constituencies of expertise with a general college for those not affiliated to any particular constituency and a parliamentary college for politicians.”

Mr Smith said he has been interested in the House of Lords since the 1970s and submitted a paper on the reform to the Wakeham Committee, which reviewed it in the 1990s.

He said: “Lord Low and I hold quite similar views on the matter.

“I met him and he said he was going to do something but I had no idea what he had in mind. I was surprised to see it mentioned as part of the debate.

“It’s not every day you are mentioned in the House of Lords and I was particularly pleased the paper was commended and has received a fair amount of attention.”

Mr Smith believes those who sit in the House of Lords should be elected based on their expertise.

Following the Queen’s Speech, Mr Smith said: “The Government is going to bring forward a Bill but we are going to have to wait and see what happens.”