§ Lord Jones
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What plans they have for the House of Lords Appointments Commission. [HL2231]
§ The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn)
The Appointments Commission brought new standards of transparency, professionalism and rigour into the selection of independent Peers. The commission has, as required, published criteria for appointing Peers on the basis that individuals should have a record of outstanding achievement, political independence, integrity and the ability to contribute to the House.
The 15 new independent Peers were appointed because they have skills and qualities that will benefit the legislative scrutiny and revising work of the second Chamber. They included a world authority on palliative care, an expert on youth and social exclusion, a top British businessman and a leading educationalist. Their expertise is already contributing to debates in the House.
The White Paper on Lords Reform published last year proposes a statutory Appointments Commission to appoint independent Members and to continue an open and transparent process of appointing independent Members to the House of Lords. In the mean time the Appointments Commission will continue its role.