Labour Should Back PR - Andy Burnham
By Bryan Lewis
Andy Burnham, the Labour mayor of Greater Manchester, says Labour should back proportional representation for Westminster elections. He thinks it would allow more cooperation between political parties on a programme of urgently needed social reform.
Following the defeat of the Tories in two byelections this week, Mr Burnham argues there is now an opportunity for the Tories' opponents to work together more..
Changing the voting system, a move likely to boost small parties and increase the chances of coalitions, would foster a spirit of consensus and agreement on other radical and necessary elements of political modernisation, such as replacing the House of Lords with an elected second chamber and more devolution.
At the moment Labour's policy is not to support PR for Westminster elections although motions on the issue will be put to the party's conference in September. Many Labour members and MPs publicly support PR and the country's largest trade union, Unison, recently backed PR for Westminster elections at its annual conference.