12 May 2022
Harriett Baldwin seeks debate on constitutional sexism in the House of Lords

Harriett Baldwin calls on the Government to hold a debate on changes needed to improve Parliament, in particular, to eradicate the constitutional sexism in the House of Lords where one eighth of the seats are reserved for men only due to the system of reserving 92 seats for hereditary peers.

Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) (Con)

During Prorogation, Mr Speaker, you announced that you would establish a Speaker’s Commission to ensure that the workplace we are privileged to be part of is as secure and as welcoming as it could possibly be. Could the Leader of the House find some Government time in which hon. Members could debate some of the changes they would welcome in this place—including, I hope, a condemnation of the constitutional sexism we find in the other place, where one eighth of the seats are reserved for men only?

Mark Spencer (The Leader of the House of Commons)

I know this is something my hon. Friend has long campaigned on, and she has tabled a private Member’s Bill to that effect. Maybe she will be lucky enough in the private Member’s Bill ballot next week to have another crack at that. I join her in welcoming your announcement of the conference you are hoping to pull together, Mr Speaker. We will work across the House, and I know there is cross-party support for trying to improve the way people are treated. There are structures in place and I am sure that, working together, we can solve some of the challenges we face.