Europe: Straw vilifies Tory peers

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The Independent Online
JACK STRAW accused Tory hereditary peers of opposing the "elected will" of the Commons over the choice of a voting method for European elections yesterday as he offered to review the disputed system after next June's poll.

In an attempt to avoid a constitutional clash between the Commons and the Lords, the Home Secretary introduced an amendment to persuade peers to accept the "closed list" system of proportional representation under which voters back parties rather than candidates.

Opening the debate, Mr Straw said: "What we are now facing is a determination by unelected Conservative hereditary peers to override the elected will of the House of Commons.

"[This] is now an issue of the elected House of Commons, versus the packed hereditary House of Lords."

It is the second time the Government has reversed a peers' objections to the system. A third defeat by peers, once the Bill goes back to the Lords next week, would throw into chaos the Government's legislative timetable.

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