Labour 'must back constitutional reform'

The former cabinet minister and Independent MP, Clare Short, has predicted that the Labour party could "die in the next few years" unless it backed radical constitutional reform.

Ms Short argued that the key change was the introduction of electoral reform, a move that would "unlock" the current system. She argued that politics would be better served by a range of parties being represented in the Commons. She was speaking at a debate at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on whether democracy in Britain was under threat, attended by about 350 Independent readers.

Readers raised a range of issues from the need for fixed-term parliaments to the case for compulsory voting. Other speakers included The Independent's columnists Steve Richards and Johann Hari and the BBC's West Midlands Political Editor, Patrick Burn.

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