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Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:30 pm on 18th March 2004.

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Photo of Peter Hain Peter Hain Chair, Modernisation of the House of Commons Committee, The Secretary of State for Wales, Leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal 12:30 pm, 18th March 2004

I acknowledge and respect my hon. Friend's long-standing commitment to first past the post. I have been a long-standing opponent of proportional representation, which destroys the relationship between the Member of Parliament and his or her constituency, which can judge its MP and get rid of him or her if it wants. There are all sorts of anomalies and contradictions in PR systems. We fought the election on a commitment to undertake a review—which will be interesting because it will point up many of the anomalies that apply in existing PR systems. In Wales, for example, somebody can stand in an individual constituency and be defeated but get elected under the list system, then set up as a rival to the member who beat them.

In Clwyd, West in north Wales, three such candidates stood, were defeated, then got elected under the list system and campaigned against the winning Assembly member.