Chief Minister in ‘despair’ as latest attempt to reform LegCo elections fails

Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK

Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK

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The latest attempt to reform the way in which members are appointed to serve on the Legislative Council failed in Keys this week.

The Legislative Council Reform Bill, proposed by Onchan MHK Peter Karran, fell at the examination of clauses stage.

A proposal by Laurence Skelly MHK to refer the matter to a committee of three members failed after being supported only by Mr Skelly and his seconder, Castletown MHK Richard Ronan.

Mr Skelly said he supported reform but felt the bill was ‘unworkable’ in its current form.

Speaking on Mr Skelly’s proposal, Chief Minister Allan Bell said: ‘I have been a politician for over 30 years and more time has been spent discussing the future of Legislative Council than anything else. We are no closer to a solution and I despair.’

Mr Bell said he was rejecting the whole of the bill because he considered it to be unworkable. Mr Karran’s bill would have seen MLCs publicly elected using a single transferrable voting system.

A proposed amendment by Ramsey MHK Leonard Singer to use a first past the post voting system to elect MLCs to eight constituencies also failed to win support from fellow Keys members.

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