26 bishops to stay in Lords as Govt drops reform bill

The Church of England will keep the same number of bishops in the House of Lords after the Government dropped plans to overhaul the Upper Chamber.

Currently 26 Church of England bishops, known as the Lords Spiritual, sit in the Lords.

They read prayers at the start of each daily meeting and play an active role in the life and work of the Lords.


But the House of Lords Reform Bill proposed slashing the total number of peers to 450, and dropping the number of bishops from 26 to 12.

It also proposed that 80 per cent of the members of the Lords should be elected for 15-year terms, with the first elections taking place in 2015.

But the controversial reforms have now been dropped following opposition from Conservative backbenchers.


The Rt Revd Tim Stevens, the Convenor of the Lords Spiritual, said: “The decision not to proceed with this Bill gives Parliament and the country a welcome opportunity to pause and think again about what it wants a Second Chamber to do, not just who it wants as its members.

“It also means that Parliament will be able to focus without distraction on the most pressing economic and social challenges that face our country now and in the months ahead.”