UK Politics

BBC Two to screen documentary on 'misunderstood' House of Lords

House of Lords Image copyright AFP/Getty Images

BBC Two has commissioned a series filmed inside the House of Lords which it says will give "unprecedented" insight into peers' work.

The three-part documentary series, produced by independent company Top Hat, will be aired later this year.

Filming will take place over several months, in a format similar to the Inside the Commons documentary which was broadcast on BBC Two last year.

It aims to "see how public perception stacks up to reality", the BBC says.

The House of Lords has been under renewed scrutiny since it acted to delay tax credit cuts in October 2015.

The controversial move prompted the government to launch a review of the Lords' powers, which recommended they should lose their absolute veto over secondary legislation.

'Characters'

The BBC says the documentary will show the "characters" who populate the upper chamber and "their aims, dilemmas and frustrations".

The programme will take in the current arguments about whether, and how, to pursue reform of the House of Lords.

Fiona Campbell, head of BBC Current Affairs, hailed it as a chance "to shed some light for our viewers on the inner workings of this long-standing pillar of politics in this country".

Lord Speaker Baroness D'Souza said: "The House of Lords is often misunderstood because there are few opportunities for the public to find out about its role and work."

She described the series as an "opportunity to see the important work that is done by the House".

Peers held a debate in January on their public image in which a number of members complained about the lack of understanding of their role and the way they are portrayed in the press.

Lord Hodgson of Astley-Abbots, who tabled the debate, expressed his concern about "the rising number of snide, unfounded and unhelpful articles about your Lordships' House that are quite unconnected with our legislative activities".

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