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politics

House of Lords Could Move to North of England Under Proposal

Updated on

House of Lords Could Move to North of England Under Proposal

York.

York.

Photographer: TJ Blackwell/Moment via Getty Images

York.

Photographer: TJ Blackwell/Moment via Getty Images

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Moving the House of Lords out of London is one of a number of ideas under consideration to make sure every part of the U.K. “feels properly connected to politics,” Conservative Party Chairman James Cleverly said.

The Sunday Times reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is planning to locate Parliament’s upper chamber permanently in York in northern England and has ordered work to begin on the practicalities of a move. Birmingham in the Midlands is also in the running, it said.

When asked about the report on Sky TV’s “Sophy Ridge on Sunday” show, Cleverly said: “We might. It’s one of range of things we are looking into. It’s about demonstrating to people we are going to do things differently. The Labour Party lost millions of voters because they failed to listen.”

Johnson has spoken repeatedly of “leveling up” across the U.K. after traditional Labour strongholds in the north backed the Conservatives for the first time in the Dec. 12 general election.

The Palace of Westminster, home of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, is due to be vacated for several years from the mid-2020s to allow billions of pounds of restoration work to the Victorian-era buildings to take place.

Read More: The Smells Are Getting Worse Along the U.K.‘s Corridors of Power

Speaking on BBC TV’s Andrew Marr Show, International Development Secretary Alok Sharma backed moving the 795-member Lords, saying the Conservatives should use their strong parliamentary majority to bring the government “closer to the country as a whole.”

But Labour lawmaker Nadia Whittome dismissed the idea. “Working-class people don’t care about the unelected House of Lords,” she told Marr. “We want jobs, proper investment and meaningful decentralization of power. This is superficial. It’s tinkering around the edges.”

(Adds comment from government minister in sixth paragraph.)