Constitutional Renewal — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:12 pm on 10th June 2009.

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Photo of Lord Grocott Lord Grocott Labour 4:12 pm, 10th June 2009

My Lords, on the voting system, did my noble friend notice the hugely important statement by the Prime Minister:

"I still believe the link between the MP and constituency is essential and that it is the constituency that is best able to hold MPs to account"?

If it is true that maintaining the link between the MP and the constituency is fundamental, does my noble friend agree that any move towards proportional representation will severely diminish, not enhance, our democracy? Further, having seen the evidence last weekend of proportional representation in action—it led, as many of us knew it would, to the growth of extremist parties and did nothing for turnout, which was lamentable under PR—can she acknowledge that it is necessary to have a debate about the electoral system, but the electoral system in Europe, with a view to returning to first past the post?