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Boris Johnson could move the House of Lords to York, a senior Tory has confirmed.
Party chairman James Cleverly said moving the upper chamber out of London was “one of a range of things” the government was looking into to ensure voters “feel properly connected” to politics.
The government has already identified disused government-owned land near York railway station as a potential site for a new Lords chamber, the Sunday Times reported.
Birmingham is also in the running as a location as the prime minister looks to cement the Tories’ election gains in former Labour areas in the north and Midlands.
"We might, it's one of a range of things we are looking into." @JamesCleverly tells @SophyRidgeSky the House of Lords might be permanently moved to the north of England, saying a "whole range of options" are being looked at.— Sophy Ridge on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) January 19, 2020
Follow #Ridge live: https://t.co/BzsNffg7Rl pic.twitter.com/SUXFiK3ygO
When asked about reported proposals to move the House of Lords outside of London, Cleverly told Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News: “What we are looking at is a whole range of options about making sure every part of the UK feels properly connected [to] politics.”
“When the PM stood up the day after the election and said this is going to be the people’s government he meant it. That meant connecting people with government and politics.
“The referendum in 2016 wasn’t just about our relationship with the EU, it was about millions of people and their relationship with politics as a whole.”
When pressed to say if the move would happen, he replied: “We might. It’s one of a range of things that we are looking into. But fundamentally what this is about is about demonstrating that we are going to do things differently.”
The potential location of the new Lords will be determined by a constitutional review to be launched in the coming months, the Sunday Times reported.
The government is also said to be considering plans to replace the unelected Lords with at least a partially elected chamber representing Britain’s nations and regions.
Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said moving the Lords will have less impact if “a bunch of London establishment” figures are sent to the north, only to return to the south on weekends.
He said: “Moving the second chamber, or any part of the Whitehall bubble, may have a positive impact on changing the mindset of those who make our laws and spending decisions - with centralised decision making having served us so poorly in perpetuating a significant north-south divide.
“With some notable exceptions, the revising chamber massively under represents the north. If the government sends a bunch of the London establishment to York, the best connected of any northern city to the south, they probably won’t appreciate the productivity challenges her much more than before as they will undoubtably head back south every weekend.
“Once we have elected mayors and devolution rolled out across all the north, from Cheshire right across to the Humber, those metro mayors would have a real mandate and be better placed to revise our laws than the current establishment - who are part of the problem along with too many of the officials in departments like education, transport and the Treasury itself.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.