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Tim Farron: Let the people have their say

January 18, 2011 11:36 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

As the Lords continue their debate, Liberal Democrat Party President, Tim Farron, today wrote to party members asking them to write to Labour peers and MPs to call on them to end the Labour filibuster of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill.

Commenting, Tim Farron said:

"Labour peers are holding the democratic process hostage by blocking any progress of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill.

"Ed Miliband has spoken of a new way of doing politics but the tricks employed by Labour peers are the worst example of petty party politics.

"Their claims of scrutiny are completely undermined by their own pantomime performance in the House.

"It is time Ed Miliband showed some leadership and took control of his party. The people should be allowed to have a say on their voting system and this blockade by unelected Labour has-beens of the referendum Labour committed itself to in its manifesto must end."

Read Tim Farron's email to part members in full:

Dear friend,

As you read this email Labour peers are using every trick in the book to try and block a referendum on fairer votes.

In the Liberal Democrats we believe that the New Politics should be embraced by all parties. That is why I'm asking you to join me today in bringing pressure to bear on Ed Milliband and his Labour peers to live up to all the talk we heard at the weekend about new politics.

As I'm sure you know, in the 2010 Labour party manifesto, written by Ed Miliband himself, the Labour party promised to hold a referendum on voting reform. And indeed since then he has been talking the talk on working with Liberal Democrats on issues like constitutional reform. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to be having much success in getting his party to follow him.

Conservative MPs and peers have put party differences to one side to give people a chance to vote on electoral reform. But sadly Labour dinosaurs in the House of Lords are using every arcane trick in the parliamentary book to block the referendum. So far Ed Miliband has failed to speak out against their attempt to stop the referendum.

I'm all in favour of proper debate but Labour is cynically using the old politics of the worst sort to stop people have their say. Labour peers claim to be offering scrutiny, but that argument vanishes as soon as you examine their behaviour in the debate.

So please join me in helping Ed Miliband to get his party to follow him. If you live in a constituency with a Labour MP please write to them here asking them to disown the Labour dinosaurs in the House of Lords. And if you live in a constituency with an MP from another party why not write to a Labour peer direct here asking them to let the people have their say. And please encourage everyone you know to do the same.

Best wishes,

Tim Farron
Liberal Democrat Party President