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Easter briefing: Debate on electoral reform

2 May 2019 19:23 | LCER

Several Labour electoral reformers were able to get into the Estate on 23 April went along to a debate introduced by Change UK, former Labour MP, Angela Smith, supported by other Labour defectors, Chuka Umunna and Mike Gapes who had just launched their party in Bristol that morning. Mike was an Alternative Vote supporter, Chuka the party’s only LCER platform member. There were some more promising signs than the mea culpa from Angela Smith, a self confessed first past the post supporter before she left Labour. Labour MPs, Paul Blomfield, Jim Cunningham, Rupa Huq, Jonny Reynolds and Alex Sobel intervened, Justin Madders and Paul Sweeney spoke, and several other Labour MPs were there: Jon Cruddas, Thangam Debbonaire and Nick Thomas-Symonds. Cat Smith responded to the debate and admitted she was a supporter.

The SNP MPs told us again how wonderful they are in supporting Electoral Reform even though the current system gave them a winner’s bonus especially in 2015. Ditto Liberal Democrats were there in relative strength. On the whole the Conservative benches were empty but there were some positive inputs from a Cornish MP Derek Thomas and a Suffolk MP Dan Poulter, but judge for yourself: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-04-23/debates/D3B823DB-CB97-4508-8398-7ABD7E9F1609/ProportionalRepresentationHouseOfCommons.

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