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Jack Straw argues against cutting the number of MPs

Jack Straw Commons Shadow Justice Secretary Jack Straw has written an op-ed in the Times today putting the case against the Coalition's proposal to reduce the number of MPs (and equalise the size of constituencies)

He writes:

"Our Parliament is for sure larger than many other parliaments (for example, the US Congress, the German Bundestag, the French National Assembly), but these other countries have a much greater density of elected representatives — at state, regional and local level — beneath their national parliaments. Even with devolution in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the UK is unusual in having as relatively few elected representatives as it does.

"Nor has Parliament grown disproportionately. Since 1950 the number of seats has increased by just 3 per cent while the electorate has grown by a quarter, and the workload of MPs has risen dramatically."

He goes on to claim that the "Labour bias" in the electoral system is a result of differential turnouts across "safe" and "marginal" seats and that Labour seats currently have smaller electorates most likely as a result of non-registration of voters.

Read his whole argument here.

Jonathan Isaby

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