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Westminster Insider

What's the point of the House of Lords?

Season 9, Ep. 2

Host Ailbhe Rea takes you inside the weird and wonderful world of the House of Lords, and explores the increasingly bitter battles over its future.

Paralympic gold medallist and crossbench peer Tanni Grey-Thompson lifts the lid on what life in the Lords is really like, and Ailbhe has a rare meeting with an endangered species: a hereditary peer, the Earl of Caithness, in his natural habitat.

John McFall, the Lord Speaker, takes us on a guided tour of the grand building itself — and explains how it actually works — while POLITICO's very own Esther Webber explains the joys of covering the second chamber as a journalist.

Jess Sargeant from the Institute of Government provides a whistlestop tour of efforts to reform the Lords down the decades — some more successful than others.

And we look at the internal debate within the Labour Party over former PM Gordon Brown's recommendation to abolish the House of Lords altogether. Henry Stannard, who worked closely with Brown on his commission, defends the plans, while Labour grandees Neil Kinnock and David Blunkett take radically different points of view. 

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