Yvette Cooper calls on Prime Minister to stop appointing new Peers

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Yvette Cooper, one of the four candidates to be leader of the Labour Party, has called on David Cameron to stop the appointment of any more Peers to the House of Lords.

She accused the Prime Minister of “vandalising democracy” rather than working with other parties to modernise the constitution.

Cooper, who is married to the former Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, wrote:

“Our uncodified constitution is being stretched at the seams and our democracy undermined by David Cameron’s pursuit of narrow party political interest. 

“For generations the constitutional settlement in Britain has relied on political parties and Prime Ministers respecting democratic principles and not using constitutional change to pursue their own party purpose. Instead David Cameron and the Tories are vandalising democracy by pursuing their own narrow party political interest rather than seeking public consent or cross party consensus for major changes to our democratic institutions

“The list of Tory party political attempted assaults on our uncodified, and partly unwritten constitution is long – trying to flood the House of Lords with more Tory appointments, to change voting in the Commons to favour the Tories, to change boundaries to help the Tories, to change party funding to hurt the Labour Party and to nobble the Speaker of the Commons. And all of it without cross party consensus, or public consent. The Conservatives are acting without a shred of integrity.

“At the same time there is a long term need for major reform especially after the Scottish referendum, to reflect greater devolution, the need for a new framework for England and Wales and for local government too. And it must include long overdue reform of the House of Lords.

“Our current constitution is out of date. But we can’t rely on this Prime Minister to modernise it in the wider interests of democracy rather than the narrow interest of the Tory Party.

“As Leader I will set up an extra-Parliamentary constitutional convention in the absence of action from the Prime Minister. I want all parties and all parts of civil society involved in this. If David Cameron won’t establish a fair and proper democratic and constitutional reform process, I will”.