In the Lords

  • Ballot Paper
    Article: Aug 15, 2016
    In Letter to The Guardian, published Monday 15th August

    It is ironic that a former chairman of the Conservative party criticises the independent Electoral Commission for acting "as a commentator and lobbyist on policy and law" (Electoral fraud crackdown may bring police cordons to poll sites, 12 August) while unilaterally proposing significant changes to our electoral laws.

  • Stephen Williams Votes at 16 Campaign
    Article: Sep 13, 2014
    By Lord Rennard in Speech in House of Lords Debate

    My Lords, briefly, I support the principle of the amendments as a long-time supporter of the principle that 16 and 17 year-olds should be entitled to vote. It is now 45 years since a Bill was passed that lowered the minimum age for voting across the United Kingdom to enable 18 year-olds to vote. Nearly half a century since then, there have been great changes in how society sees 16 and 17 year-olds. We are no longer a society in which you get the key to the door at 21, or even 18.

  • Lib Dem Participants
    Article: Feb 13, 2013

    On Tuesday, I took part in the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race. The annual contest, now in its sixteenth year, involves teams of MPs, Peers and members of the Press Gallery racing (and flipping) their way around Victoria Tower Gardens in aid of the disability charity, Rehab.

    Despite allegations of some unparliamentary behaviour, the MPs' team managed to hold on to the title they won last year. In spite of an inspiring effort from the Lords Addington, Dubs, Kennedy, Redesdale, St John and Baroness Kramer, we were (just) pipped to the post by our parliamentary colleagues, (pushing the Press' team into third place).

  • Chris Rennard
    Article: Mar 5, 2012

    Today, I challenged the Government to improve upon the unpopular 'closed list' system for electing Britain's MEPs. The debate was foreshadowed by a piece I wrote for Politics home:

    There was a fierce row about this issue in the House of Lords in 1999 when Labour carried out their Manifesto commitment (and a legal obligation) to introduce Proportional Representation for the European Parliament elections.

  • Speaking in the House of Lords
    Article: Nov 1, 2011

    Today, Lord Collins of Highbury asked a question about how the Government was responding to the rapidly growing number of people with diabetes. I used the question to draw attention to the report that I launched today on "Keeping people with diabetes out of hospital."

    The report was drawn up through a series of meetings convened by the Primary Care Diabetes Society that I chaired in the House of Lords. Earl Howe, the Minister for Health in the House of Lords confirmed that he would look at the report and study the evidence on which it was based.

  • Chris Rennard
    Article: Jul 14, 2011

    When I first came to the Lords (1999) the library was inaccessible for me because it was very heavy smoking area. Some of the dining areas were also unpleasant and dominated by cigar smoke. I remember Charles Kennedy coming to an afternoon tea in the Peers Dining Room that I hosted for all of us involved in his diary planning team. Charles was told off by the waiters as he arrived smoking a cigarette and taking off his jacket (it was July). He removed the cigarette and was apologising for smoking when they explained that he was certainly allowed to smoke, but not to take off his jacket.