Different types of Lords

The Lords currently has around 830 Members, and there are three different types: life Peers, bishops and elected hereditary Peers. Unlike MPs, the public do not elect the Lords. The majority are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or of the House of Lords Appointments Commission.

Life Peers

Appointed for their lifetime only, these Lords' titles are not passed on to their children. The Queen formally appoints life Peers on the advice and recommendation of the Prime Minister.

Archbishops and bishops

A limited number of 26 Church of England archbishops and bishops sit in the House, passing their membership on to the next most senior bishop when they retire. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York traditionally get life peerages on retirement.

Elected hereditary Peers

The right of hereditary Peers to sit and vote in the House of Lords was ended in 1999 by the House of Lords Act but 92 Members were elected internally to remain until the next stage of the Lords reform process.

Related information

Set up in May 2000, this independent, public body recommends individuals for appointment as non-party-political life peers and vets nominations for life peers to ensure the highest standards of propriety.

There are a number of ways of appointing Lords.