SDLP should come out over Lords membership

In the Irish Times Gerry Moriarty has picked up on the theme of the SDLP’s attitude to the House of Lords, following Nuala O’Loan’s appointment.

Among those who congratulated her yesterday were SDLP leader Mark Durkan, MP Dr Alasdair McDonnell and Assembly member Alex Attwood, notwithstanding that the SDLP does not nominate members to the House of Lords. Dame Nuala is married to SDLP MLA in North Antrim Declan O’Loan.
Mr Durkan said that Dame Nuala would provide an “independent and articulate voice in the Lords as she has been in her other previous public service positions”.

Some Consevatives are working on a plan for an 80% elected chamber called “The Upper House” with an 80% elected membership. Perhaps this would help the SDLP to come out and openly sponsor members to represent their viewpoint in the increasingly effective House.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London