Cameron faces revolt on electoral reform

David Cameron faces a revolt inside the Conservative Party over his decision to grant the Liberal Democrats a referendum on the voting system for Westminster elections.

Tory MPs plan to make it harder to secure a "yes" vote in any referendum on the alternative vote (AV). The wrecking tactics will anger the Liberal Democrats, because the promise of a chance to change the system was a crucial factor in the agreement to join the coalition.

Daniel Kawczynski, chairman of the all-party group for the current first-past-the-post system, said he would table an amendment to the Bill paving the way for a referendum saying that 40 per cent of the electorate would need to support change in the public vote before it could be implemented. That would need a high turnout. A similar amendment scuppered plans for Scottish devolution in a 1979 referendum. The plan was supported by 52 per cent of those voting but that amounted to only 33 per cent of the electorate.

Mr Kawczynski, the Tory MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, said: "If we are to hold a referendum on AV, it is only fair that any changes are implemented if they hold the support of a clear majority of the electorate. Fundamental constitutional change should not be enacted by process of a knee-jerk reaction. It is all-too easy for voters to pledge support for change to the electoral system; understanding the implications of this change is, however, something different. But the implications of AV could not be clearer: a more disproportional system; legislative gridlock; impersonal politics."

Tory whips will try to squash the rebellion when the Bill comes before Parliament to head off a row that may put the coalition under strain. But the proposed amendment could attract the support of some Labour MPs who support first-past-the-post.

Yesterday Mr Cameron tried to calm Tory critics of the Government's plan to raise capital gains tax (CGT) from 18 to 40 or 50 per cent, a Liberal Democrat demand. He told business leaders in Shipley, West Yorkshire, that the issue of wealthy people paying CGT to avoid higher income tax was a problem but also an opportunity.

Hinting that savers and entrepreneurs would be protected, he said: "People should not get ahead of themselves and wait for the Budget." He added: "First, we must do all we can to promote entrepreneurism. Second, we must address this problem we have in the tax system of a capital gains tax rate of 18 per cent against much higher income tax, which is encouraging tax avoidance. At the same time, remember what we are trying to do here is a modest additional revenue-raising exercise so we can lift the income allowances, which will actually help the poorest people in our country."

In his first major speech since becoming Prime Minister, Mr Cameron promised to transform the economy and "make the next decade the most entrepreneurial and dynamic in our history". He said he would appoint "city ministers", senior MPs to help big cities drive forward economic development and clear blockages in Whitehall.

The Tories and Liberal Democrats took first and second places in the delayed general election contest in Thirsk and Malton, North Yorkshire. Tory Anne McIntosh won with 20,167 votes, while the Liberal Democrats' Howard Keal drew 8,886 votes in Thursday's election, pushing Labour's Jonathan Roberts into third place with 5,169. The election was postponed after the April death of the UK Independence Party candidate John Boakes.

Life and Style
life
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
News
Joan Rivers has reportedly been hospitalised after she stopped breathing during surgery
people81-year-old 'stopped breathing' during vocal chord surgery
Life and Style
Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
health
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
One in six drivers cannot identify a single one of the main components found under the bonnet of an average car
motoringOne in six drivers can't carry out basic under-bonnet checks
Environment
environmentCrop pests are 'grave threat to global food security'
News
i100
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
tvSimon Cowell blasts BBC for breaking 'gentlemen's agreement' in scheduling war
Arts and Entertainment
Shady character: Jon Hamm as sports agent JB Bernstein in Million Dollar Arm
filmReview: Jon Hamm finally finds the right role on the big screen in Million Dollar Arm
News
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
people
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Sport
footballAnd Liverpool are happy despite drawing European champions
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
Life and Style
fashion

Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Primary supply teachers needed in Bury St Edmunds

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers requi...

English Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Secondary English Teacher - requ...

Science Teacher

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Calling all science teachers! Ra...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone