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The membership of the House of Lords includes twenty six Church of England Bishops and Archbishops on an ex officio basis, their right to sit and vote in the House established by ancient usage and by statute. This Library Note provides background information on the role of Bishops in the second chamber, and in the context of the Government’s proposals for reform of the House, it examines arguments made both in favour and against their continued membership. The Note then considers further issues arising from the Government’s proposals, as well as arguments made regarding the formal representation of other denominations or faiths in Parliament.


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