• News Feeds
Page last updated at 08:45 GMT, Monday, 15 November 2010

Electoral reform bill 'a minor adjustment'

The government's plan to hold a referendum next May on changing the voting system could be blown off course by a vote in the House of Lords.

Defending the bill on the Today programme, Liberal Democrat Justice Minister Lord McNally said the changes, including redrawing boundaries to make them roughly equal sizes and cutting 50 MPs from the House of Commons, were a "minor adjustment" which would "get the wrinkles out of our system".

But former Labour Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer, who is leading opposition to the bill in the House of Lords, said the bill would lead to fewer back-benchers and therefore "a weaker House of Commons" and raised concerns over the .

He argued that the combination of boundary reform and the referendum on the Alternative Vote means the bill is a "hybrid" which should be referred to a Lord's committee for judgement - a move which could delay the AV referendum.

This, according to Lord McNally, was a lawyers' "wheeze" to try and delay the introduction of a fairer voting system.

"I'll see you in court Charlie," he said.

Get in touch with Today via email , Twitter or Facebook or text us on 84844.


Story Tools


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific