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Hybrid event

Keynote speech: Lord McFall of Alcluith, Lord Speaker

Lord McFall, the Lord Speaker, joined us to discuss the role of the upper house.

Lord McFall, the Lord Speaker, at the lectern at the Institute for Government.
Lord McFall spoke about the role of the House of Lords and how the upper chamber has changed its way of working.

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The question of how to reform the House of Lords dominates discussions about the upper house, with less attention focused on its day-to-day activities. Since his election as Lord Speaker in 2021, Lord McFall of Alcluith has sought to champion its important role of revising legislation and advising the government, while ensuring the Lords remains on the path of modernisation. 

Lord McFall has focused on parliamentary outreach and prioritised communicating the value of the House of Lords externally, bringing the devolved parliaments and Westminster closer. He has also worked with schools and universities, and launched a podcast, to demystify the upper house.  

What are public perceptions of the upper chamber and how have they changed? How has the Lords changed its ways of working? What kinds of links does it have with the devolved parliaments? And what might all of this mean for discussions about reform of the Lords? 

Lord McFall addressed these questions and more in a keynote speech at the Institute for Government, before taking part in a discussion with the IfG’s Director Dr Hannah White and an audience Q&A. 

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Photos from the event can be viewed on our Flickr page

Lord McFall of Alcluith became Lord Speaker in 2021, having served as senior deputy speaker for five years. He entered the Lords in 2010 after spending 23 years in the Commons as Labour MP for Dumbarton and later West Dumbartonshire. There, he served as a minister in the Northern Ireland Office, a government whip, and chaired the Treasury Select Committee between 2001 and 2010, including during the global financial crisis. Before entering politics, Lord McFall worked for over a decade as a teacher.  

Our experts

House of Lords
Institute for Government

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