A letter to this morning’s Telegraph announces the establishment, today, of an English Constitutional Convention (more here). The Convention "has the aim of promoting debate and raising public awareness of England’s democratic deficit". The signatories – who include Iain Dale and John Horam MP – want "the question of the establishment of an English parliament… considered and the option placed in front of the electorate".
For the campaigners the key issues are:
- The over-representation of Scotland and Wales in the House of Commons;
- The fact that Scottish and Welsh MPs can vote on laws affecting England but MPs from England cannot vote on many Scottish laws;
- The English is unfairly served by the current formula by which public spending is distributed across the UK;
- The division of England into regional assemblies is not a solution and not popular.
A leader in The Telegraph welcomes the ECC’s establishment and warns that action must be taken soon if England’s place in the post-devolution settlement isn’t to become a "toxic" issue. The newspapers falls short of endorsing an English Parliament but does recommend English votes for English laws.
Christine Constable of the English Democrats Party will be part of a discussion about the virtues of an English Parliament at 9pm tonight on 18 Doughty Street Talk TV.
Related links: Portillo declines to defend The Union and Priscilla Cullen argues ‘There isn’t enough concern about asymmetrical devolution’ on YourPlatform.