Manifesto 2019:Tackle Poverty and Inequality - Constitutional Issues

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Constitutional Issues

For many people, politics doesn’t work. The Westminster bubble is a world away from their daily lives. The Labour Party was founded to give working-class people a voice in politics.

We want our political institutions to be connected fully to the wider electorate, and will take urgent steps to refresh our democracy.

The time has come for the real changes that a Labour government will bring.

We will act immediately to end the hereditary principle in the House of Lords, and work to abolish the House of Lords in favour of Labour’s preferred option of an elected Senate of the Nations and Regions, but we also believe that the people must be central to historic political changes.

The renewal of our Parliament will be subject to recommendations made by a UK-wide Constitutional Convention, led by a citizens’ assembly. This Convention will answer crucial questions on how power is distributed in the UK today, how nations and regions can best relate to each other and how a Labour government can best put power in the hands of the people.

Only a Labour government will safeguard the future of a devolved UK, reforming the way in which it works to make it fit for the future.

Britain is one of the most centralised countries in Europe. Labour will decentralise decision-making and strengthen local democracy. We reiterate our commitment to One Yorkshire, and will make directly elected mayors more accountable to local councillors and elected representatives.

We will re-establish regional Government Offices to make central government more attuned to our English regions, to support our regional investments, and to enable the shift of political power away from Westminster.

Our democratic revolution will also extend to elections.

A Labour government will repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, which has stifled democracy and propped up weak governments. We will maintain 650 constituencies and respond objectively to future, independent boundary reviews. We will oversee the largest extension of the franchise in generations, reducing the voting age to 16, giving full voting rights to all UK residents, making sure everyone who is entitled to vote can do so by introducing a system of automatic voter registration, and abandoning plans to introduce voter ID which has been shown to harm democratic rights.