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LABOUR U-TURN ON EURO MPs

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The government has been forced into a humiliating climbdown over a new proportional representation voting system fo...
The government has been forced into a humiliating climbdown over a new proportional representation voting system for elections to the European parliament, according to The Independent on Sunday (p2). It is to announce a review of the proposed 'closed list' system, by which electors can vote for a party but not individuals in the regional constituencies.

The move is designed to drive a Bill implementing the new system through the house of lords by the end of the parliamentary session this month.

Tory hereditary peers, angered by Labour plans to abolish their voting rights, but aided by some Labour, Liberal Democrat and cross-bench peers, have been trying to hold up the Bill. If the government does not get the measure through parliament there would be havoc for next May's Euro elections, with the contests being fought on existing constituencies and all parties having to begin their candidate selection proceedings again.

Home secretary Jack Straw will announce his intention to 'review' the closed list system after the elections. The move, which is supported by the Liberal Democrats, could lead to the scrapping of the closed list system, which has been criticised as a ruse for getting loyal Blairites into office.
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