The power of the Crossbenchers


They are a diverse group - made up of everything from judges to sports-stars - but the Crossbenchers in the House of Lords have become an increasingly influential part of the legislative process.

Of the more than 85 defeats the government has suffered in the Upper House, the votes of the Crossbenchers have swung the result in the vast majority of cases.

The BBC's Gary Connor investigates the role of the Crossbenchers in scrutinising and amending legislation.

Speaking to leading Crossbench peer Baroness Boothroyd and UCL's Dr Meg Russell, he discovers why winning the support of this independent-minded group has become crucial for the government.

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