I welcome the current MP for Redditch finally leading a campaign and commend her for doing so, despite it being her first in nearly five years of representing the town.
While constitutional reform is important, it is disappointing that when so many people in Redditch are waiting weeks for a GP appointment, having their operations cancelled or waiting for cancer treatments, that the MP is prioritising a petition on reforming Parliament.
Today, I read that the Conservative Government have introduced 17 more criteria for hospitals to meet before they can declare a major incident. Rather than the government announcing how they are going to avoid a major incident & make patients more safe.
And today the MP for Redditch launches a petition that focuses on how Parliament is run. I believe she has her priorities for this town wrong and her government have their priorities for this country wrong.
Nevertheless on the issue of constitutional reform some people will want to know where I stand. There are two issues.
First, Scotland voted to remain in the UK and were promised greater powers, this promise by the party leaders in Westminster needs to be delivered and delivered promptly.
The second issue is how do we make Parliament represent the people more fairly. And believing English MPs can only vote for English laws sounds catchy, but doesn't address the extent of the unfairness that exists and raises real problems.
It does not address London MPs voting on matters of transport for England when it does not affect their constituencies because transport is devolved in London.
It does not address the House of Lords passing and amending laws that may not affect them because of where they live.
And more importantly we would have MPs voting on health and education policies for example in England but not having tax raising powers to implement them.
And so I and the Labour Party want to fully examine how to make Parliament more fair across the UK without undermining it and devolution to the regions should be a part of that.
While having only English MPs voting for English laws sounds catchy, it doesn't address the extent of the unfairness that exists and raises real problems.
Catchy phrases also need to be thought through and I'm afraid this example of the Conservative's general election campaign raises more problems than it solves.