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They’re electing a new Lord Speaker in the House. There’s a marked difference between the Speaker in the Commons and the Lord Speaker, mainly that the Speaker controls proceedings but the Lord Speaker still very much observes. The Lords are proud of their tradition of regulating themselves without the need for someone to command them when to speak or sit down, and in general are suspicious of anything that might move them towards a more Commons-style system that might encourage members to act like unruly schoolchildren, as witnessed every week at Prime Minister’s Questions.

It is this impulse that explains why, when the other candidates for the post have set out their stalls at some length, the hereditary Lord Redesdale’s candicacy statement reads, in full:
I believe in a self-regulating House of Lords. If elected I intend to do as little as possible in the Chamber for the money.

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