Working with the new Labour Leader on the crises of Coronavirus and democracy

With my co-leader, Jonathan Bartley, I have written to the three Labour leadership candidates to offer to work together during the coronavirus crisis and to call on them to back electoral reform.

Ahead of Labour’s leadership election result being announced on Saturday 4 April, we have written to Rebecca Long Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Keir Starmer outlining the importance of cooperation during the current crisis.

The letter also calls on whoever is announced as Labour leader to embrace electoral reform at all levels of government in order to strengthen our democracy and build a more resilient politics for the future.

The coronavirus crisis has shown just how vital it is that politicians work together and a fairer voting system which encourages more collaboration would make sure this kind of cooperation happens across the board.

First past the post seriously hinders the ability of parties to work together. We cannot continue to allow our democracy to be warped by a system where votes do not match who gets elected.

So I urge the new leader of Labour to do the right thing, by backing a fairer proportional representation system and strengthening our democracy.

The letter offers to work together constructively, and says:

“In Labour, as in our party, the majority of members support a proportional voting system [3], and no other socialist or social democratic party in any major developed country still supports first past the post.

“Whichever one of you is elected, we offer our support in the collegiate spirit these times deserve, and we would like to meet with you virtually as soon as you are able, to discuss both the immediate crisis and how we build a better politics for the future.”

We look forward to hearing back from whichever candidate is elected as soon as they can manage.

The full text of the letter can be read here (pdf).