Mary Southcott, LCER's Parliamentary and Political Officer, writes:
Good News from new Shadow Cabinet Lineup
First congratulations to both Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner for becoming the Labour Leader and Deputy Leader. As you know LCER received this response from our new Labour Leader to our questions to all the candidates. He said:
"We’ve got to address the fact that millions of people vote in safe seats and they feel their voice doesn’t count. That’s got to be addressed by electoral reform. We will never get full participation in our electoral system until we do that at every level. I would consult the Party membership on electoral reform and include it within the constitutional convention that looks at wider democratic renewal--including abolishing the Lords and furthering devolution on the principles of federalism."
Congratulations to other electoral reformers who have joined the Shadow Cabinet:
Marsha de Cordova is new Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary
David Lammy is new Shadow Justice Secretary.
Steve Reed is new Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary
Jonathan Reynolds, the new Shadow Work and Pension Secretary has been an PR advocate since his student days and Chair of Make Votes Count. He is also one of three PLP representative on the NEC.
Louise Haigh who has taken up an interim role as Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary
Congratulations for those electoral reformers who keep their roles, particularly
Luke Pollard remains Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary
Cat Smith stays on as Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Engagement
Ian Murray who returns as Shadow Scotland Secretary after quitting in 2016
and recent declared voting reformer
Rebecca Long-Bailey as Education Shadow Secretary.
We hope to work with particularly and persuade the following:
Ed Miliband as Shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Secretary. He was pro Alternative Vote in the 2011 AV Referendum and some say now pro PR. He was last in the Shadow Cabinet in 2015
Jim McMahon who is Shadow Transport Secretary and has always emphasised devolution particularly supporting local government
Lisa Nandy as Shadow Foreign Secretary who remains worried about the link between PR and extremism
Bridget Phillipson is Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Nick Thomas-Symonds as Shadow Home Secretary
This compares with the former Shadow Cabinet where we lost Jeremy Corbyn who was open but not proactive on voting reform; John McDonnell who was an active supporter who has joined us at various events since 2016 and Baroness Shami Chakrabarti who was thought to be in favour.
The best people to persuade anyone are people they know so at this dangerous time for British politics the silver lining may be that we work together to move the Labour policy from the current first past the post to an open position leading to having something positive to say in the next General Election.