House of Lords: Members

House of Lords: Members

House of Lords Composition

  • The House of Lords is an unelected chamber of the UK Parliament.
  • Its members are not elected by the population, but instead gain membership through appointment, inheritance or ecclesiastical position.

Life Peers

  • Life peers are individuals who have been appointed to the House of Lords for the duration of their life.
  • They are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister or the House of Lords Appointments Commission.
  • Life peers are often distinguished professionals in their fields, such as law, science, culture, or politics.


  • A group of 26 bishops from the Church of England, known as the Lords Spiritual, also have seats in the House of Lords.
  • The Lords Spiritual represent the established Church of England and are appointed based on ecclesiastical hierarchy including the Archbishops of York and Canterbury.

Hereditary Peers

  • Hereditary peers inherit their title and the right to sit in the Lords, although most hereditary peerages no longer grant a seat in the House of Lords.
  • Following the House of Lords Act 1999, only 92 hereditary peers maintain their seats, chosen from amongst themselves.

Differences to House of Commons Members

  • Unlike Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, Lords members are not paid a salary for their parliamentary duties.
  • Their membership in the House of Lords does not end due to failing to be reappointed or losing an election, as it does for members of the House of Commons.