Eleanor Laing MP for Epping Forest – Constitutional Reform

Women’s Parliamentary Radio

For immediate release
October 18th 2010
http://www.wpradio.co.uk hears why Eleanor Laing MP thinks the £100 million cost of Constitutional Reform is a price not worth paying!
Eleanor Laing MP for Epping Forest – Constitutional Reform

Eleanor Laing the MP for Epping Forest is Chairman of the Conservative Home Affairs and Constitutional Affairs Committee. She also sits on the Select Committee on Constitutional Affairs and is examining the new “Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill” currently going through Parliament.

Eleanor is against voting reform and the suggested system of AV, thinks the 5th May date for the referendum is flawed, and believes a wholly elected House of Lords would be a mistake. However, she does agree with larger constituencies and reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600.
In this special interview Boni Sones, our Executive Producer, begun by asking her why she opposed voting reform at this point in time? She told Boni:

• “The coalition agreement provides for voting reform but changing the voting system at this time will cost £100 million at a time when the Country is in serious economic crisis. I personally think it is quite wrong to spend £100 million of tax payers money on this when it could go to schools, hospitals, nurses and other worthwhile causes. “

• “We should wait until we are in better economic circumstances but we have to have the referendum because it is part of the coalition agreement. I do accept that it is a price worth paying in order to have the stability of the coalition, which then allows the government to tackle the economic crisis.”

• “To hold the referendum on the same day as local elections in England and the same day as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have national elections is likely to distort the result. It should be held on a day when there are not other important elections. The different turn-outs with other elections are likely to distort the results, I don’t know what that distortion will be but it will be distorted.”

• “I do agree with changing the boundaries and having larger constituencies. I don’t think anybody can argue against equalisation of constituencies. We are all having to work harder and MPs should do the same.”

• “Personally I don’t think we should have a wholly elected House of Lords. The House of Lords is a revising Chamber and there are people there who bring decades of experience and wisdom. There are some very distinguished people who give Parliament and the Country the benefit of their experiences and I think the House of Lords is the better for having these people there. It would be a pity to lose them.”

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