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The House of Lords in session

Meet the Lords

Series following the larger-than-life characters that populate the House of Lords, one of Britain's oldest, most idiosyncratic and most important institutions.

About the programme

In a TV first, Meet the Lords takes viewers behind the scenes at the House of Lords, with exclusive access and unique insights into what was a turbulent year for the peers, as they battled it out with the Government over dramatic changes to the political landscape.

Over the course of a year, the series follows some of the larger-than-life characters who inhabit the House of Lords, one of Britain’s oldest, most idiosyncratic and important institutions. For the first time, free-roaming cameras have been allowed to film inside the Lords Chamber and in its committees to capture moments that matter to the UK, but usually go unseen.

It is a period that covers the nation splitting over Brexit; a rapidly-changing Parliament and where a Conservative government is for the first time having to tackle a Lords chamber where the opposition outnumber them.

To find out more about the programme, you can go to the BBC programme page

Discover the range of qualifications and modules from the OU related to this programme:

UK Parliament, CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Meg Russell discusses the House of Lords

An interview with Meg Russell, an expert in the workings of the House of Lords. She shares her perspective about its effectiveness, likelihood of reform, and the strengths and weaknesses of the House.


Further reading

Watched Meet the Lords and curious for extra information about the House of Lords? Find out more here.

Here's a handy list of resources outlining its history, form and function, the form Lords reform might take, and the place of the Lords in Britain’s political system.


What the Lords, in its own words, does today

The contemporary relationship between the Lords and the House of Commons

House of Lords Reform, 1911- 2015

What form might future Lords reform take?

Further (offline) reading

The best recent book on the Lords, written for specialists, but very accessible, is: 

Two good-quality general introductions to parliament with particular reference to the Lords are:

Meet the academic

Dr Richard HeffernanHead of POLIS Discipline, School of Social Sciences & Global Studies PoliticsVIEW FULL PROFILE
Dr Richard HeffernanHead of POLIS Discipline, School of Social Sciences & Global Studies Politics

I work in the field of comparative politics and specialise in British politics. I am presently researching the British prime minister. and my research on this subject has produced several articles on this subject, among them 'Prime ministerial predominance? Core executive politics in the UK' (British Journal of Politics and International Relations 2003); 'Why the prime minister cannot be a president: comparing institutional imperatives in Britain and the US' (Parliamentary Affairs 2005); 'The prime minister and the news media: political communication as a leadership resource' (Parliamentary Affairs 2006); 'Exploring (and explaining) the prime minister' (British Journal of Politics and International Relations 2006); 'Tony Blair as Labour Party leader' (in Anthony Seldon ed Blair's Britain, Cambridge University Press 2007), (with Mark Bennister) 'Cameron as Prime Minister: TheIntra-Executive Politics of Britain's Coalition Government' (Parliamentary Affairs, 2012) and 'There's no need for any ization: The prime minister is only prime ministerial' (Parliamentary Affairs, 2012). I have previously published widely on the making of New Labour, and I am the author of New Labour and Thatcherism: Political Change in Britain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001).

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