UK Politics

Labour Party: Constitutional reform Bill exposed as low grade political skulduggery – Straw

News   •   Sep 07, 2010 12:14 BST

Jack Straw has hit back at comments by a leading Tory that reveal how political reform plans are motivated by narrow party interest.

Mark Field MP, the Conservative Member for the Cities of London and Westminster, stated on the ConservativeHome website that:

“the current proposals for AV and the reduction in number of parliamentary constituencies are being promoted by Party managers as an expedient way to prevent our principal political opponents from recapturing office”. 

Expressing concern at the motives behind the Bill, he said that:

“Reform to our constitution should never be made as a short term, tactical gambit. Support for fundamental change to the voting system should be underpinned by an appreciation of its likely effect over decades ahead, rather than being designed to reinforce the electoral prospects of a government in office or for the convenience of contemporary political leaders.” 

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2010/09/mark-field-mp-a-referendum-on-changing-the-electoral-system-should-be-on-hold-for-a-year.html

Responding to the revelations, Shadow Justice Secretary Jack Straw commented:

"This is the Lib-Con government’s constitutional reform Bill exposed by one of their own supporters as nothing more or less than low grade political skulduggery. 

"Everyone agrees with the principle of broadly equal-sized seats, which is already written into the law. But the Bill would rush a boundary review through on a timescale which will ignore millions of unregistered voters from the calculations, abolish local public inquiries in the process, and so distort the outcome at Labour's expense. Thanks to Mr Field we now know that this is the Tories' explicit intention.”