Your leader on House of Lords reform (“Suicide pact”, August 11th) was flawed, for three reasons.
First, the great majority of Conservative MPs opposing the bill did so because it was a very bad piece of legislation, which would have undermined the Constitution and reduced diversity and expertise in Parliament. A glance at the second reading debate would have shown that the government comprehensively lost the argument. In the words of David Pannick QC, the Bill did "not adequately address the central issue of constitutional concern."
Third, you laid the blame for any future Conservative election defeat on MPs who voted against the bill, such as myself. But this ignores both fact and principle. Deep constitutional issues should not be bartered away for electoral advantage, as you suggested. The Coalition Agreement explicitly ties AV (not Lords reform) and boundary changes together, while the 2010 Liberal Democrat manifesto contains a commitment to reduce the number of MPs. Finally, the Deputy Prime Minister said in Parliament that Lords reform and boundary changes were not connected. We were not wrong to take the Right Honourable member at his word.
Jesse Norman, MP
Hereford and South Herefordshire
[An edited version of this letter first appeared in The Economist on 18 August 2012]