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By LGCnet political correspondent Robert Hedley ...
By LGCnet political correspondent Robert Hedley

In a break with tradition - tabling an amendment to the Loyal Address in reply to the Queen's Speech for the first time since 1914 - Conservative peers forced a division in which the government was defeated by 188 votes to 108.

The amendment regreted the government's abandoning the search for cross-party consensus and undertakings given to peers over constitutional reform. It asked the government to withdraw plans to remove the remaining 92 heriditary peers from membership of the house of lords, and plans to abolish the office of lord chancellor. It asked government to undertake 'meaningful consultation' with parliament and the senior judiciary before proceeding with legislation.

A Liberal Democrat amendment called on the government to introduce legislation to end heridary membership of the house, but which would ensure most members of the lords were democratically elected. The amendment was defeated by 141 votes to 36.

Hansard 2 Dec 2003: Column 373 - 476

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