House of Lords Act 1999

The House of Lords Act 1999 (c. 34) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed the House of Lords, one of the chambers of Parliament. The Act was given Royal Assent on 11 November 1999.[3] For centuries, the House of Lords had included several hundred members who inherited their seats (hereditary peers); the Act removed such a right. However, as part of a compromise, the Act did permit ninety-two hereditary peers to remain in the House on an interim basis. Another ten were created life peers to enable them to remain in the House.[5]

House of Lords Act 1999
Long titleAn Act to restrict membership of the House of Lords by virtue of a hereditary peerage; to make related provision about disqualifications for voting at elections to, and for membership of, the House of Commons; and for connected purposes.
Citation1999 c. 34[1]
Introduced byMargaret Beckett, Leader of the House of Commons[2] (Commons)
Territorial extent England and Wales; Scotland; Northern Ireland
Royal assent11 November 1999[3]
Commencement11 November 1999[4]
Status: Current legislation
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

The Act decreased the membership of the House from 1,330 in October 1999 to 669 in March 2000.[6] As another result of the Act, the majority of the Lords were now life peers, whose numbers had been gradually increasing since the Life Peerages Act 1958.[7] As of May 2023, there were 778 members of the House of Lords, of whom 25 were senior Church of England bishops,[8] whose representation in the House is governed by the Bishoprics Act 1878.[9]

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