Lib Dems call for Labour to form ‘progressive alliance’ to tackle electoral reform

(left to right) Labour leadership candidates Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Sir Keir Starmer after the Labour leadership hustings at the SEC centre, Glasgow. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA.

(left to right) Labour leadership candidates Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Sir Keir Starmer after the Labour leadership hustings at the SEC centre, Glasgow. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

The Lib Dems have written to the three Labour leadership contenders urging them to form a progressive alliance which tackles electoral reform.

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The party claims that the issue of reforming the broken political system has been "dangerously absent" from the Labour contest.

The letter, from the Liberal Democrats' spokesperson for constitutional affairs Wendy Chamberlain, claimed that "politics isn't working for people".

Referencing the last three years of politics, the MP said it was "time to hit the reset button".

"At the last general election the Conservatives, despite only getting 44% of votes, entered the House of Commons with 56% of seats. 14.5m people have an MP they didn't vote for while 71% of votes were 'wasted'," she explained.

"It is no wonder that people feel they have little or no influence on decision-making today. Our democracy doesn't need piecemeal change. It needs an urgent and radical overhaul.

Chamerlain, who has sent copies to Rebecca Long-Bailey, Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy, said: "There are many issues we disagree on. But progressives right across UK, aside from Labour, agree that we have a decaying electoral system that shuts out too many from our democracy.

"With a prime minister in Boris Johnson who tried to silence our democracy by unlawfully shutting down parliament, nobody can trust him to fix our broken politics.

"It therefore isn't good enough for the next Labour leader to sit on their hands and do nothing. It is past time Labour joined the progressive alliance in favour of electoral reform."

The Lib Dems urged to show their support for a "growing progressive movement" that supports reforming the system.

Clive Lewis had spoken about the need for Labour to work with the Lib Dems and other parties following the election defeat, but since he quit the competition the issue has fallen off the agenda.

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