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Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Fw: Urgent: Lords Reform

As that throaty-voiced American-sounding man who does the voiceovers for movie trailers at the cinema might put it: "From the people who brought you the Yes to AV Campaign..."
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From: "Peter Facey, Unlock Democracy" <peter@unlockdemocracy.org.uk>
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2012 11:16:10 +0000
To: Matthew Harris<matthew.harris@hotmail.co.uk>
Subject: Urgent: Lords Reform

Unlock Democracy

Lords Reform Bill - click here to write to your MPHi Matthew,

Let’s cut to the chase. Over 1,300 people have written to their MPs following the publication of the Lords Reform Bill, but we need to get that figure to at least 2,000 before the House of Commons debates it on Monday. We just need you to ask them a single question and our tool makes it easy for you. Will you write to them today?

Write to your MP right now

The debate around House of Lords reform is hotting up. Last Saturday, the Telegraph published some original Unlock Democracy research showing how dozens of peers claim tens of thousands in expenses despite only occasionally bothering to vote - or not voting at all[1]. This includes: the Earl of Rosslyn, a Metropolitan Police Commander who claimed £15,750 in 2011 despite not voting or speaking once or sitting on any committees; Lord Truscott, who claimed £44,100 tax free in 2011 two years after being suspended for offering to change legislation for a paying client, despite only voting 19 times; and Lord Hanningfield, who claimed £9,310 in the nine months running up to being imprisoned for expenses fraud in July last year - despite not voting or speaking once during that period.

The House of Lords has repeatedly proven itself to be incapable of reforming itself. It is only considering taking action on peers working as lobbyists now - 3 years after the “cash for influence” scandal and 19 years after the “cash for questions” scandal which forced the House of Commons into cleaning up its act. Lords wouldn’t even be grudgingly talking about reform now if the government wasn’t looking like it is going to get serious about introducing elections to the second chamber. If the government is forced into abandoning the House of Lords Reform Bill, it will be back to business as usual in the Lords.

At Unlock Democracy, we’re working hard to persuade MPs on both sides of the chamber to vote the right way when the Bill is debated in the Commons next week. But we need your help. We need to get as many people as possible to write to their MPs and send us the response.

This achieves two things. Firstly, it helps us to keep track of where the MPs stand - and put pressure on the ones who we think are open to persuasion. Secondly, it shows your MP that their constituents care about the issue. One letter from you is worth five letters from a pressure group like us.

Please write to your MP today, using our simple tool

Thank you so much!

Best wishes,

Peter Facey
Director, Unlock Democracy

Notes:

[1] See our press release here: http://action.unlockdemocracy.org.uk/media/news/entry/lords-reform-new-research-reveals-the-price-of-patronage



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