Jo calls for constitutional renewal

Jo Swinson MP has called on the Government to set up a Citizens’ Convention in order to transform the current political system.

Following her recent “e-consultation” in which East Dunbartonshire residents called for ordinary citizens to have a say in reform of the political system, Jo Swinson challenged the Justice Minister to set up a Citizens’ Convention for democratic reform. Whilst the Minister agreed with Jo that it is important to involve the wider public in the policy process, he unfortunately rejected a Citizens’ Convention.

Jo is one of 134 MPs to sign a Parliamentary Motion supporting the Citizens’ Convention Bill, which would see a body of one hundred citizens deliberate on democratic reform and submit recommendations to the House of Commons. It is hoped that a Citizen’s Convention would provide a forum for ordinary people from a broad range of backgrounds to be permanently involved in political decision making.

Commenting, Jo Swinson said:

“Whilst it is encouraging that the Government agrees on the principle of involving the wider public in politics, it is a shame the Minister stops short of backing a more substantial Citizens’ Convention. I believe that ordinary citizens, and not just politicians, should have a say in the way our political system is run, and it is clear from the emails I received from constituents in response to my consultation that they agree.

“Setting up a Citizens’ Convention would be a good way of ensuring continual discussion with the public on issues that really matter to people. MPs have a duty to involve the public in the democratic reform that is so desperately needed, and I hope the Government will offer more support for the Citizens’ Convention Bill when Parliament returns in the Autumn.”

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