21 of our favourite responses to news that the House of Lords could move to York

19 Jan 2020 @ 6.33 pm
| Politics

It can’t happen very often but ‘House of Lords’ was trending on Twitter today.

This followed the bolt-from-the-blue idea – apparently from the PM himself – that the second chamber should move out of London, and into a new home somewhere close to York railway station.

Since then the world and her husband have been having their say. Here’s a few of our favourite responses so far.

Oh, and before that, have a go at our poll if you fancy it.

POLL: The House of Lords move

Should the House of Lords…

1. ‘York would be splendid’

Lloyd Grossman
  • I think that’s a wonderful idea. Send the House of Lords up to York, which was last the seat of government during the Civil War when the Council Of The North met there in the mid 17th century.

    Now considering that the members of the House Of Lords are totally freaked out by the idea of moving across Parliament Square to the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, I don’t know how happy they are going to be about being sent up to York.

    But I think York would be a splendid Northern capital.

Businessman and TV presenter Loyd Grossman on Broadcasting House, BBC Radio 4

2. They’ll be investing in cottages

Andrew Marr. Photograph: BBC / Rolf Marriott
The host and his guests discussed the idea on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One.

Andrew Marr said: ‘I wonder how many people are already investing in cottages in York at this stage…?”

One of his guests, Labour MP Nadia Whittome, was unimpressed. “Replace the House of Lords with an elected chamber and move it to the North, and then we’re talking. But this is superficial, it’s tinkering around the edges.”

But Camilla Tominey of the Daily Telegraph said there’d be “delight in York” and would help move away from London-centric politics. She added:

  • There was an exposé a few years ago about peers clocking in and then going home. You won’t be able to do that if there’s a chamber up in York.

3. Perfect for Jorvik

This from Bruce Hairsine on Facebook: “Can we put them in the Viking museum because that’s how old most of them are?”

4. It’s a long way for Black Rod to travel

Black Rod is the ceremonial gatekeeper of the House of Lords, and the person who brings the MPs to the second chamber to hear the Queen’s Speech.

5. But not THAT long…

The Sunday Times had reported it takes three hours to get to York from London. Step forward one of LNER’s finest.

6. A new role for the panto star?

All aboard… Berwick Kaler in Dick Whittington And His Meerkat, 2015. Photograph: Anthony Robling

7. Possible York venue for the House of Lords #1

8. Possible York venue #2

9. Possible York venue #3

10. Possible York venue #4

11. And some York businesses would definitely benefit…

The Grand Hotel. Photograph: YorkMix

12. The Mr Speaker conspiracy theory

Former Commons speaker John Bercow. Photograph: UK Parliament / YouTube
The other House of Lords news this weekend is that Labour is nominating the former Commons Speaker John Bercow for a peerage, even though he was a Conservative MP. This from journalist and broadcaster Stig Abell:

13. This is what the new Lords should look like

Full on Gothic, according to this architecture enthusiast.

14. Some lords thought it a great idea

And that included Labour peer Andrew Adonis.

15. Very smart people were enthusiastic too

This from the professor of politics at Rutherford College.

16. Equally smart people spotted a chance to banish Boris

Playwright and critic Bonnie Greer among them:

17. Others were just a bit sceptical

Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
A few were sceptical about Boris Johnson’s track record of delivery on big projects like this.

18. Some pointed out this has been suggested before

19. It was good news for at least one of the ruling class

…according to journalist David Osland.

20. Others asked: What have we done to deserve this?

21. Finally, we had a taste of York ham.