UPDATE: In a speech at the Hay Festival, Roy Hattersley has announced that he would now support Proportional Representation. He had been opposed to it for decades. He said it would be the most likely way to secure a “progressive alliance”.
There are a couple of interesting pieces in today’s papers in which Labour cabinet ministers call for constitutional reform in the wake of the MPs’ expenses debacle.
Alan Johnson, the Secretary of Health, says in an article in The Times that Labour still has a “mandate to pursue the issue of electoral reform and to hold a referendum on a specific new system” and praises the Alternative Vote Plus system as a viable alternative.
He continues that Labour has the opportunity to go into the next general election offering to “put real power into the hands of every voter”.
Meanwhile, at the Hay Festival over the weekend, Ed Miliband said the government still has the chance to embark on a “major programme of constitutional reform”, according to the Guardian.
The Climate Change Secretary said: “It’s a political system that isn’t in great health and it has to be reformed…I don’t think the House of Commons feels like an open and welcoming place for people … It doesn’t feel enough like an institution that people think is talking about their issues.”
Both men have emerged from the expenses scandal untarnished, so their voices will carry weight within the Party.