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House of Lords may move out of London to ‘reconnect’ with public

The government is considering moving the House of Lords outside London – potentially to York – as one of a range of options to “reconnect” politics with the public, the Conservative party chairman, James Cleverly, has confirmed.
Asked about the plan, which was reported in the Sunday Times, Cleverly said: “It’s one of a range of things that we are looking into.
“It’s about demonstrating to people that we are going to do things differently. The Labour party lost millions of voters because they failed to listen.”
The crumbling Palace of Westminster is due to be vacated for several years from 2025, under plans for restoring the historic buildings by the Thames.
Shifting the Lords to northern England during that period, and potentially permanently, would be a symbol of Boris Johnson’s determination to “level up” the rest of the UK with the capital. The decision is expected to be made as part of a constitutional review, to be launched in the coming weeks.
The Conservatives have already said they will open an additional campaign headquarters outside London.
Cleverly told Sophy Ridge on SkyNews: “When the prime minister stood up the day after the general election and said this is going to be a people’s government, he meant it. And that meant connecting people with government and politics.
“Because the referendum in 2016 wasn’t just about our relationship with the EU, it was about millions of people and their relationship with politics as a whole. So we’re looking at a whole range of ways of connecting people, in the kind of places where we won representation for the first time in decades.”
Cleverly was also asked about the controversy over whether Big Ben will “bong” to mark Brexit, at 11pm (midnight, Brussels time) on 31 January – but sought to play it down.
After House of Commons authorities said it would be cost £500,000 to sound the bell, which has been silenced during renovations to the Elizabeth Tower in which it hangs, Johnson said his government was “working up a plan so people can bung a bob for a Big Ben bong”.
It subsequently emerged there was no such plan – and it is unclear what will happen to the money raised by crowdfunders for the project. Instead, the government will project a countdown clock on to the wall of 10 Downing Street on the evening of 31 January.
Cleverly said: “The PM made a light-hearted statement about Big Ben. Trust me, this is not the most pressing issue in government. There’s a lot of interest, and it’s fun, and it’s good media knockabout.”

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