Government confirms they are considering relocating the House of Lords to York

19 Jan 2020 @ 2.53 pm
| Politics

It might just happen.

As we reported in the early hours today, a plan to relocate the House of Lords in York has been mooted.

That was based on a report in the Sunday Times. Now a senior member of the government has confirmed they are thinking about it.

Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly said the idea was an option being considered by ministers.

Mr Cleverly told Sky News:

  • What we are looking at is a whole range of options about making sure every part of the UK feels properly connected from politics.

    When the PM stood up the day after the election and said this is going to be the people’s government he meant it. That meant connecting people with government and politics.

    The referendum in 2016 wasn’t just about our relationship with the EU, it was about millions of people and their relationship with politics as a whole.

‘Doing things differently’

When pressed to say if the move would happen, Mr Cleverly said: “We might. It’s one of a range of things that we are looking into.

“But fundamentally what this is about is about demonstrating that we are going to do things differently.”

International Development Secretary Alok Sharma told the BBC: “I’m not involved in the detail of it, but actually as a principle, as a principle it’s a perfectly good thing that we are connecting government to all parts of the country.

He added: “I think it’s absolutely right that if you want to be a government of the people, you must reach out to people across the country.”

Cautious welcome

City of York Council leader Keith Aspden. Photograph: YorkMix
City of York Council leader Keith Aspden has given a cautious welcome to the idea. He said:

  • It is about time that the Government lived up to its promises to York and the North of England, particularly with transport and infrastructure investment.

    York is a successful city and the historic home of the Council of the North.

    Worth £5.2bn to the UK economy, York is a key driver of regional growth with good transport links, 9,000 businesses and 110,000 people employed across the city.

    The quality of the York Central site, located next to York station, is among the best in the North of England and will attract high quality occupiers.

    We welcome any conversations and genuine attempts to decentralise the country.

York Central MP Rachael Maskell said on Twitter: “This morning I’ve written to the PM welcoming his suggestion that the House of Lords could move to York.

“This would secure the transport & infrastructure investment we need & create thousands of high quality jobs for the city. Of course, I’d like to see an elected second chamber.”