Thank you, Tessa

Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform joins the many other tributes to Tessa Jowell who has died of a brain tumour.  Tessa, as a candidate for Dulwich and West Norwood, and then as an MP, spoke out in favour of electoral reform.  She was part of the class of 1992 MPs which demonstrated the change in the Labour Party on electoral reform.  This also included Richard Burden, Anne Campbell, John Denham, Glenda Jackson and Tony Wright. Early on she spoke in Blackpool at the Transport and General Workers Union Conference fringe with Jack Dromey.  In the AV Referendum in 2011, she was a key advocate of change in the voting system, often a difficult task when this was the wrong time for a referendum, when people were voting against the LibDems in the coalition  and many supporters of a proportional voting system rejected Alternative Vote.  Back in 2009 she argued for a referendum "This would an act of courage and self confidence. A progressive party knows that you can never win an election by trying to fix anything. The effect of electoral reform and a more proportional system, would be to create a different kind of parliament in a post expenses world.  A more proportional system is more voter sensitive and more voter reactive system than we have at present.”   She appeared on our platforms, at our AGM with Robin Cook and in our leaflets in the 1990s.   Thank you, Tessa.  

John Doolan