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
1. ‘York would be splendid’
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
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.
Black rod when the House of Lords moves to York pic.twitter.com/lh4F56Byv1
— 🦦 (@Nuttxll) January 19, 2020
— Ben Howlett (@benhowlettuk) January 19, 2020
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.
— Mark Plowright (@MarkPlowLNER) January 19, 2020
6. A new role for the panto star?
— Reece McMahon (@reecemcmahon) January 19, 2020
7. Possible York venue for the House of Lords #1
I'm hearing from EXCLUSIVE council sources that fibbers closed 2 weeks ago so that it could host the House of Lords…huge if true 🤞🤞🤞 pic.twitter.com/SBlQZcqTRK
— Philip (@Pipthelad) January 19, 2020
8. Possible York venue #2
— James Mellor (@JamesDFMellor) January 19, 2020
9. Possible York venue #3
Rumours of the new House of Lords in York…. it’s already built…. just needs a safety certificate to open….. Lord Ford of Vanguard? pic.twitter.com/4BG1LbwBas
— York City Knights⚔️ (@YorkKnightsRLFC) January 19, 2020
10. Possible York venue #4
A Yorkshireman writes with the suggestion the Government seizes a very grand branch of Ask Italian for the new House of Lords pic.twitter.com/gCupCzaHw0
— Ned Donovan (@Ned_Donovan) January 19, 2020
11. And some York businesses would definitely benefit…
The biggest winners of the House of Lords relocating to York will likely be hotel owners in York.
— Simon Bye 🎪🔶 (@UB5simon) January 19, 2020
12. The Mr Speaker conspiracy theory
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:
Jeremy Corbyn sends John Bercow to the House of Lords.
Boris Johnson sends The House of Lords to York.
There’s some sort of pattern there, if only we could work it out.
— Stig Abell (@StigAbell) January 19, 2020
13. This is what the new Lords should look like
Full on Gothic, according to this architecture enthusiast.
If they are seriously going to build a new House of Lords in York, they really need to consider the traditional British gothic style. Just look at what the Hungarians did with their parliament building. pic.twitter.com/2qBP2FVBRn
— Architecture Classico (@world_classico) January 19, 2020
14. Some lords thought it a great idea
And that included Labour peer Andrew Adonis.
The big domestic story today isn’t Harry and Meghan but the Johnson plan to move the House of Lords to York. Together with HS2, it could help bring about a radical redistribution of power within England. It is long overdue and very welcome
— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) January 19, 2020
15. Very smart people were enthusiastic too
This from the professor of politics at Rutherford College.
"Boris Johnson planning to move House of Lords to York" -would be first time since Civil War city has been a centre of political power. Moving institutions outside of London symbolically important. We are either serious about building one nation or not https://t.co/NJqNnfInkS
— Matthew Goodwin (@GoodwinMJ) January 19, 2020
16. Equally smart people spotted a chance to banish Boris
Playwright and critic Bonnie Greer among them:
And I do love gesture politics, don't you?
— Bonnie Greer (@Bonn1eGreer) January 19, 2020
17. Others were just a bit sceptical
A few were sceptical about Boris Johnson’s track record of delivery on big projects like this.
Re-locating the #HouseOfLords is a fascinating idea – and #York is understandably excited at the prospect – but history shows that initiatives to try and get politicians, peers or political staffers out of #London are high on talk and low on action.#BorisJohnson #Testiculate pic.twitter.com/hSMFjVaoTz
— Paul Vittles FMRS FAMI FRSA (@PaulVittles) January 19, 2020
18. Some pointed out this has been suggested before
People forget Wilson proposed moving Lords to Ripon, but shelved plans after Lennon mocked it in A Day In The Life. “They’d seen his face before/nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords.” Lanyards weren’t yet invented so concern daytrippers could pose as peers.
— Patrick Maguire (@patrickkmaguire) January 19, 2020
19. It was good news for at least one of the ruling class
…according to journalist David Osland.
At least moving the House of Lords to York would allow Jacob Rees-Mogg finally to find closure over the Wars of the Roses
— David Osland (@David__Osland) January 19, 2020
20. Others asked: What have we done to deserve this?
Why should York have to put up with the old windbags? What has York done to you to be so nasty!
— Adrian Threlfall (@ady_threlfall) January 19, 2020
21. Finally, we had a taste of York ham.
— Lesley Lickley and Grumpy Alan (@Lels1960) January 19, 2020