What happens to the bishops in the Lords

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Lots of follow-up in the other papers today after the FT’s story on Thursday about the House of Lords being replaced by a “senate” with half the number of occupants. Here is the background article.

Not sure about the idea of “senators”, which is either very old-fashioned (think ancient Rome) or a bit futuristic (think Star Wars, below).

The transfer from the current system to the new one will be intensely complicated.

One of the big unresolved issues is what to do with the 26 bishops. They sit in the Lords because the Church is/was a major landowner in the UK rather than because of their spiritual influence over Parliament.

But to remove them all would provoke accusations from some quarters – not necessarily from the bishops themselves - that some kind of “disestablishment” is taking place.

Cutting their numbers to a small rump is the current plan. Even that would spark further questions though, such as: why is only the Church of England represented in cosmopolitan UK?

I suspect this one won’t go away for a while.

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