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Betty Boothroyd and peers set to rebuke Cameron over Baroness Stowell’s exclusion from Cabinet

28 July 2014

Update: In a sign of the strength of feeling in the Lords on this matter, Boothroyd’s motion rebuking Cameron passed by 177 votes to 29. This foolish, unforced error now promises to make Cameron’s life more difficult than it needs be between now and March next year.


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What should worry Cameron most is how cross the peers, including the Tories, are about the whole situation. A considerable number of Tory peers, including some you would view as Cameron loyalists, are intending to turn up and vote with Boothroyd tonight. This makes a government defeat more likely than not.

Ministers, though, seem surprisingly unbothered about the prospect of losing this vote. I suspect that this is because the motion isn’t binding. But it is never a good idea for any government to alienate the House of Lords. They have a way of making the executive pay for this kind of arrogance.

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  • Nigel Wilson

    The Lords blocked reform the the Lords and therefore prevented themselves from having any electoral mandate. They cannot now complain when they lose some power within the elected government. David Cameron is right to prioritise elected representatives in his cabinet.

  • Peter Stroud

    How many more times have we to read about Cameron’s lack of judgement? The man is becoming a walking disaster.

  • Flintshire Ian

    It probably is time to abolish the old folk’s home. The question is what kind of constitutional reform could replace the present system? Which is probably why the old dodderers are allowed to carry on

  • Smithersjones2013

    Once again the Cameron regime demonstrates astonishing levels of arrogance and complete lack of political nouse. Is Cameron determined to become the most disliked leader the Tory party has ever had? Whats clear is he is going to have few friends within the party if he doesn’t deliver a majority.

    I’m beginning to think that even if the Tories are the largest party in 2015 they may well rid themselves of Cameron as leader because he treats everyone around him with complete contempt!

    • HookesLaw

      Personally I do not care if the leader of the lords is in the cabinet or not. She can attend meetings. Any difference is infinitesimal. We already have a ‘lord chancellor’ who is not a lord.
      I think the trend is significant. With any luck the Lords will be abolished completely soon.

      What is truly absurd is you concocting this as a basis for attacking Cameron. I suspect you don’t like the way he puts the cat out at night. Well you had better get used to Ed doing it.

      • Smithersjones2013

        Hooky good evening. I hoped you’d bite and give us one of your mindless superficial assessments!

        Come on do explain the sense of Cameron appointing a woman ( in a great fanfare of supposedly pro-female gender discrimination) to the role and then effectively demote her and pay her less to do the same job as her male predecessor? Feminists are up in arms, the House Of Lords are insulted and rightly so and what for? Its ten months out from an election that Cameron is still likely to lose.What gain is there from doing it? None

        Not only that but he could have reformed the House of Lords in this Parliament but partly out of mendacity and partly because he cannot control his backbenches he humiliated his ally the deputy Prime Minister to the great amusement of his opponents such as me instead.

        You couldn’t make it up!

        PS You say he forces the cat out into the cold dark (and often wet) night! How very dare he! We’ll have to report him to the RSPCA! Tee Hee hee

        • telemachus

          I wonder, dear Smithers if you could kindly advise, if Cameron were to go, who should replace him
          And mor important what would that benefit the Tories or indeed the body politic

  • swatnan

    Whats the betting that Stowell is stirring things up and has roped in Betty?
    Not a good start for the new Cabinet at all, already split.

    • Smithersjones2013

      .That’s the problem Stowell’s not (formerly) part of the Cabinet

      • swatnan

        neither is pretty Esther McVey; she must be livid with IDS for hanging in there

  • HookesLaw

    The unelected passing judgement on arrogance?

    • Koakona

      Because our elected representatives are so humble?

    • monty61

      LIke it or not, it’s part of our democracy. In the absence of proper separation of powers, the Lords functions as a sensible brake on the Executive (and in general it takes its role in this regard admirably seriously).

      • HookesLaw

        Dream on – you and the idiot swatnan. And how can you use the word ‘democracy’ in conection with the House of Lords.

        • monty61

          You prefer a system with no constraint whatsoever on the ruling party?

        • Dave Cockayne

          I agree with monty. Having two elected houses would turn us into the Americans and we would just end up with two separate bodies playing populist and partisan politics. The House of Lords does have a good track record of slapping the stupid out of Bills that come from the Commons. For example Blair and his detention without trial.

          • ArchiePonsonby

            Agreed! Look at Canada with its “Senate” of appointed party placemen packed by whichever party holds power and little more than a rubber stamp. Do we really need another layer of politicians? Bring back the hereditaries!

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