Categories: General
      Date: 22 Nov, 2010
     Title: Negligible increase in women peers

A total of 17 (31.5%) of the 54 new working peers announced last week are women. This will result in a negligible increase in the percentage of women in the House of Lords up from 21% to 21.7%, bringing it more or less into line with the House of Commons, where 22% of MPs are women.

6 (22%) of the 27 new Conservative peers are women, 6 (40%) of the 15 new Liberal Democrats and 5 (50%) of the 10 new Labour peers. One new Plaid Cymru peer has been appointed, and one new crossbencher - both are male.

The new House of Lords will break down as follows (increase/decrease after new appointments is shown in the last column):

Party
Total Peers
No. Women Peers
% Women Peers
+/- 
Conservative
221
40
18.1%
+ 0.6%
Labour
244
68
27.9%
+ 1.0%
Liberal Democrat
94
28
29.8%
+ 2.0%
Crossbenchers*
183
35
19.1%
- 0.1%
Democratic Unionist
4
1
25%
-
Ulster Unionist 3 0 0% -
Plaid Cymru
1
0
0%
-
UKIP 2 0 0% -
Independent**
3
0
0%
-
Other***
53
9
17%
-
Bishops
25
0
0%
-
Totals 833 181 21.7% + 0.7%

 

*Crossbenchers are peers who do not take a Party whip and are effecyively independent

**Independents align themselves with a Party; there are 2 Labour Independents and 1 Conservative Independent

***Others are peers who, for one reason or another (Speaker, judges, leave of absence, suspended, etc) do not appear in any other lists.

Proposals for reform of the House of Lords are currently under discussion. It is likely that the House will be smaller, will have at least some members who are directly elected, and will not include hereditary peers, of whom there are currently 92 (including 2 women).

If hereditary peers and bishops were to be excluded from the current house, there would be 716 peers, of whom 179 (24.6%) would be women.