By Ian Dipple 11/07 Updated: 13/07 09:11
REDDITCH'S MP has defended rebelling against the Government over reform of the House of Lords insisting it is the wrong priority at the wrong time.
Karen Lumley was among 91 Conservative MPs who voted against plans to introduce a smaller second chamber with 80 per cent of its members being elected for 15 year terms. Other rebels included Studley and Alcester's MP Nadhim Zahawi and Worcester MP Robin Walker.
Although the bill passed to the next stage of the process, the scale of the rebellion - the biggest the coalition has faced - forced the Government to drop a programme motion which would have limited the number of days the bill could be debated to just ten.
Prime Minister David Cameron now hopes to persuade rebel MPs to drop their opposition before an attempt to reintroduce a timetable for the bill in the Autumn.
Without it MPs could delay the bill indefinitely by talking it out of time, which could impact on other government business such as education and welfare reform.
It is the second time Mrs Lumley has rebelled against the Government after voting for a referendum on the EU last year. She is due to meet the Prime Minister at Number 10 tonight (Wednesday) and anticipates a difficult conversation.
But she told the Standard she did what she believed was right and would back any further programme motion the Government brought forward, saying it was the principle she was against not how long it would take.
"I'm in favour of reform of the House of Lords but I don't think people need another elected layer of paid politicians. Electing somebody for 15 years is not particularly democratic and neither is saying you can only do one term so we need to go back to the drawing board and have a look at it," she said.
"In these difficult times I don't believe this is a priority for the people of Redditch. I only had two people ask me to vote for the bill and one was a Liberal Democrat candidate in the last council election and one was their agent. I think people in Redditch have got more pressing issues like saving their hospital services not spending millions of pounds on senators.
"I have no interest whatsoever in bringing down the coalition. My concern is this is the wrong time to be talking about House of Lords reform and the focus for me is ensuing we get things done in Redditch and we get a stable economy with growth which creates jobs."
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