Electoral Reform

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:46 pm on 8th June 2020.

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Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Cabinet Office) 10:46 pm, 8th June 2020

Yes, that is a very wise summary to put into this debate. It puts me back in mind of some important principles that the hon. Member for North East Fife struck in her remarks. She was keen to see that people should not be left feeling disenfranchised in a certain constituency. She was keen to see a reduction in the adversarial nature that sometimes can creep into—dare I say?—all sorts of politics, but she identified it in our politics in this country. She was keen to explore how a Member of Parliament could represent everyone in their constituency, which I think connects to the point that the hon. Member for Strangford just made.

I feel very strongly on these matters as well. It has always been a point of some passion for me, actually, that I think we can do those things within the first-past-the-post system. That goes back to my point about the politics of place and the fact that we are accountable to that particular community and that particular group of people—a relatively small group of people, in fact, on some international comparisons. We have to strive to represent all of them. It is our duty to do so, however difficult that may sometimes seem when there are opposing views, naturally, within a body of people, and only one of us. We have to do that and we have to use our judgment to do it. That is, in my view, the very rewarding job that we seek to do. If we can do it right, that can, I hope, deliver some satisfaction to our constituents as well, with the ability to say no to us if they would rather it was not us in our place.