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Sister dailies unite to demand change to electoral system

Sister dailies have united to urge Rishi Sunak to slim down the House of Commons and introduce proportional representation at elections.

National World titles have called on Rishi Sunak to introduce “true federalism” across the United Kingdom for the benefit of their patches.

In an open letter published on some of the newspapers’ front pages yesterday, they called for an end to “the London establishment’s grip” and demanded:

– A smaller central government primarily concerned with financial policy, foreign affairs and defence

– A federalist system to create genuine levelling up, transferring power to regional assemblies to control and develop their economies and public services

– A slimmed down House of Commons and a reformed second chamber, reflecting all parts of the country, appointed on the basis of commitment to public service for a limited term, scrapping the tradition of peerages

– A reformed electoral system of proportional representation that reflects the diverse voices of the UK

Papers to splash on the plea included the Edinburgh Evening News, Shields Gazette, Sunderland Echo and Yorkshire Evening Post, and was also covered by national news website NationalWorld.

YEP shackles

The open letter stated: “The devastating cost of living crisis and the shambolic political chaos of recent months have shown that the way Britain is run needs to be dramatically overhauled. So today NationalWorld and our sister titles across the UK make a plea to the latest of our new prime ministers to be a true force for change.

“The ‘levelling up’ agenda may have been well-intentioned, but it has not been backed up with any meaningful progress.

“Every part of the UK should be freed up so that they can properly exploit their unique economic opportunities, put the needs of local people first, and create a vibrant, more relevant form of government.

“True federalism will make the UK stronger, not weaker. It will allow communities to properly address the urgent financial crisis facing millions of people, so many of whom can no longer afford to even heat their homes, never mind feed themselves or their children.”

Sunderland shackles

The letter went on to note the UK has “an NHS in perpetual overload, roads and rail unfit for the 21st century, a woeful shortage of affordable housing, law and order in disarray, sewage being discharged into our seas and rivers, local environments overwhelmed by development, and a desperate shortage of skilled labour”.

EEN shackles

The letter added: “If the last few weeks of political upheaval has told us anything it is that the nation expects competent governance and a new era of fairness.

“The current voting system which concentrates too much power in the traditional parties operates against both consensus governance and denies changes that will promote social mobility and geographical and cultural diversity.

“These reforms can liberate communities to make the most of themselves.

“The rise of Rishi Sunak should herald something other than the coming of just another plodding Prime Minister. He should be Rishi the reformer, the moderniser of democracy who will devolve power to the people and their local communities. Time will tell.”

Shields Sunak