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Lords_Chamber Less than a fortnight after it was trumpeted that Labour would replace the House of Lords with a 300-member elected Senate, and the proposals appear to have fallen foul of Lord Mandelson's opposition.

The Guardian today reports:

"Jack Straw's detailed blueprint for a 300- strong, wholly elected upper chamber to replace the Lords appears to have been blocked at the last minute following resistance in cabinet. The justice secretary had been planning to publish detailed draft clauses next week in line with a commitment in the Queen's Speech. But the plan met opposition in cabinet yesterday.

"The resistance has been led by Lord Mandelson, the business secretary, who said he wanted to delay any commitments until the Labour manifesto is published. But some cabinet sources said they believed he opposed a fully elected second chamber in principle."

I am personally opposed to a fully elected chamber so am pleased that the proposal is faltering – but it has to be said that the last ditch manoeuvring on this issue by a desperate Labour administration is pretty unedifying.

Jonathan Isaby

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