House of Lords could be moved to YORK as Boris Johnson shifts power to Tories’ new northern heartlands
- Ministers are considering moving the House of Lords to the north or midlands
- York and Birmingham have been identified as potential sites for the chamber
- Boris Johnson is determined to reconnect new Tory heartlands with politics
The House of Lords could be moved to York as Boris Johnson shifts power to his new Tory political heartlands.
The government is considering permanently relocating the second chamber to the north or midlands, in a signal that he is determined to give a voice to the areas that delivered his election victory.
Ministers have hailed efforts to ‘connect with the whole of the country’ after the PM ordered detailed work on the practicalities of putting the Lords in Yorkshire.
The plans have gone as far as identifying disused land owned by the government near York railway station as a potential site, according to the Sunday Times.
The Commons could also go ‘on tour’, holding debates away from London, in a bid to reconnect democracy to the wider UK.
International Development Secretary Alok Sharma said he was ‘supportive’ of the relocation and in principle it would be a ‘very good thing’.
And Tory chairman James Cleverly told Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday: ‘What we are looking at is a whole range of options on making sure the whole of the UK feels properly connected to politics.’
Pressed on whether the government would move the Lords, he said: ‘We might. It is one of a range of things that we are looking at.’
Boris Johnson is believed to have ordered detailed work on the practicalities of relocating peers (pictured at the state opening last month) to Yorkshire
Relocating the Lords out of London would be a signal of intent from Mr Johnson (pictured) after the Tories created a new powerbase in the north and midlands at the election
The Lords proposals would use the huge restoration project currently getting under way at Parliament as a springboard for change,
MPs and peers are already due to move out of the building for around six years in 2025 while the multi-billion pound overhaul takes place.
But the idea being mooted in Downing Street is that peers would end up in a new purpose-built building away from London.
If York was chosen, the city would become a centre of political power for the first time since the English Civil War – when it played host to the Council of the North.
The three-hour travel time is seen as manageable, with technology deployed to minimise the need to be in the same location as MPs and ministers.
One senior government source told the Sunday Times: ‘The York proposal is much further along.
‘The PM is also keen to have parliamentary sessions in the regions, be it Sunderland or Manchester, so people get a chance to feel democracy in action first hand.’
The Commons (pictured) could also go ‘on tour’, holding debates away from London, in a bid to reconnect democracy to the wider UK