The first three come from the last three Conservative general election manifestos – 2001,2005 and 2010:
Fourthly, here’s how the Lib Dem and Tory commitments to Lords reform combined in the coalition’s programme for government:
We will establish a committee to bring forward proposals for a wholly or mainly elected upper chamber on the basis of proportional representation. The committee will come forward with a draft motion by December 2010. It is likely that this will advocate single long terms of office. It is also likely that there will be a grandfathering system for current Peers.
Now, a few Tories have tried to weasel out of these commitments by saying they are too ambiguous to be regarded as clear support, so here’s David Davis – now a leading opponent of reform – attacking the then Labour government in wholly unambiguous terms for its woefully slow progress in delivering their 1997 promise to deliver an elected second chamber:
Are the Government planning to make the upper House democratic? Did I miss that aspect of the Queen’s Speech, or have the Government redefined, in some Orwellian fashion, what democracy means? If the Prime Minister does not stand by his commitments, the House and the people of Britain will be left with no other conclusion than that the Government’s reforms are simply a sham. They will be seen as nothing more than an attempt to bring to heel an upper House with principles and powers that have proved inconvenient to the Government, and nothing more than an attempt by the Prime Minister to stuff the upper Chamber with yes men who will do his bidding.
Finally, here’s the prime minister speaking just weeks before the 2010 general election in the leadership debates, where he couldn’t have been clearer in his support for a mainly or wholly elected chamber, and again criticising Labour for failing to deliver this: