House of Lords: Lords Spiritual


Published 04/09/2017 Amended 04/09/2017

Topics:  Church and state


This House of Lords Library briefing looks at the role of the Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords. The membership of the House of Lords includes 26 Church of England Archbishops and Bishops who sit on an ex officio basis as ‘Lords Spiritual’. Their right to sit and vote in the House having been established by ancient usage and by statute. They currently comprise around 3 percent of the total membership.


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