Opinion Former Article

Unlock Democracy welcomes Clegg support for a "citizens' convention"

Unlock Democracy has welcomed Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg's call for a constitutional convention lead by a 100-strong citizens' jury.

Since July 2007, Unlock Democracy has been campaigning for a citizens' convention bill, an enabling piece of legislation which would require the government to establish a convention to examine the governance of Britain. The bill is currently supported by 92 MPs from across the political spectrum.

Commenting on Nick Clegg's speech, the Director of Unlock Democracy Peter Facey said:

"In recent years the Liberal Democrats have been disappointingly shy about talking about democratic renewal. We therefore welcome the fact that Nick Clegg has made this a central theme of his leadership.

"His vision of a constitutional convention dominated by a 100-strong citizens' jury is an inspiring one, as is his call for locally elected health boards. All three political leaders have talked about the need to give ordinary people greater decision-making power. So far, only Nick Clegg has been bold enough to spell out how he sees this working in practice.

"The UK's political system is broken and in need of radical reform. We now live in a pluralistic political age and our antiquated Victorian system has simply failed to keep up. We simply cannot continue with a system that leaves so many out in the cold. All political parties need to put aside self-interest and agree to an independent process."

ENDS

Notes:
1. Unlock Democracy is the joint campaign of Charter 88 and the New Politics Network promoting democratic renewal and active engagement in the political process.

2. 92 MPs have signed EDM 621 - "Consensus for constitutional reform".

3. For more information, a quote or an interview, please contact James Graham on 020 7278 4443 / 07966 237550.

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