Silent peers could help reform bill
Nearly 140 members of the House of Lords - out of a membership of 789 - have not spoken or asked a question in Parliament for at least a year, a counter argument to those who say the House of Lords works well and does not need reform.
For some peers, the Lords is a convenient club in the centre of London, with free parking, free use of the telephone, a vast library and subsidised bars and dining rooms.
Others are members of the House of Lords in name only, because they have not set foot in the building for years.
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, is behind a draft bill, published last month, suggesting that the upper house should be reduced to 300 members, 240 of them elected.