Tories debate royal reform

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The Independent Online
THE CONSERVATIVES have put reform of the monarchy, the House of Lords and the country's unwritten constitution up for debate in the largest ever consultation of their supporters.

All Tory constituency parties, agents and MPs are to receive a ten-page document canvassing their views on subjects across the political spectrum.

One question in the document Our Nation's Future asks: "Are our long- standing institutions - the monarchy, the judicial system, the House of Lords or our flexible constitution - in need of reform? Or do they just need robustly defending from those seeking to undermine them?"

The fact that Conservative Party bosses are even raising the issue, at a time when John Major is attacking Labour plans for changes to the constitution through devolution, will raise eyebrows.

Consultation on the document will be pursued at regional conferences and will culminate in the 1996 Conservative Central Council in Harrogate. Cabinet sources said that the fact that issues were raised through the consultation does not imply that government policy will change.

Other questions being asked of activists include whether the increase in revenue raised through indirect taxation has gone far enough, and which groups ought to benefit when tax cuts come through.

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