A backbench bid to reform the House of Lords has moved a step forward while the Government's plan for wider change remains bogged-down in the Commons.
Former Liberal leader Lord Steel of Aikwood's House of Lords (Cessation of Membership) Bill sped through its Lords committee stage without amendment in minutes.
Under the Bill, peers would face expulsion if they failed to attend at all during a session of Parliament or were jailed for more than a year for a criminal offence. Peers would also, for the first time, be allowed to retire.
Lord Steel hailed the measure as a "small but valuable" piece of legislation, which he hoped would complete its passage through the Lords before the summer recess.
To laughter, he suggested it could "provide a lifeline" to the Commons, where it would then go for further scrutiny.
His comments came after the Government suffered its worst backbench rebellion yet over Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's plan for a largely elected, smaller House of Lords.
Ministers confirmed on Thursday that a new timetable motion for the troubled Lords Reform Bill will not be brought forward until the autumn.
As Lord Steel's Bill made progress in the Lords, Labour demanded to know where the Government was going with its own plans for reform.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath condemned as "bonkers" the idea that Prime Minister David Cameron may now press ahead instead with plans for a smaller elected element of around 50 peers in 2015, saying: "Then you suck it and see - and maybe a few years later you elect a few more," he said. "Isn't this House entitled to be told where we are actually going on Lords reform?"
Ministers made no response and the Bill now goes forward to its third reading.