Leeds: Clegg challenges Cameron over AV

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg gives a speech on the Westminster voting system, at the Carriageworks in Leeds.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg gives a speech on the Westminster voting system, at the Carriageworks in Leeds.
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Nick Clegg insisted switching to the alternative vote (AV) would help tackle corruption in politics today as he went head-to-head with David Cameron over electoral reform.

The Deputy Prime Minister said under the existing first past the post system MPs in safe seats enjoyed “jobs for life”, meaning they could “ignore” the wishes of large numbers of voters.

“For years now large numbers of people have chosen not to vote because they think it doesn’t matter,” he said during a speech in Leeds. “They think their voice will simply be ignored.”

Mr Clegg admitted it would be “evolutionary rather than revolutionary” if AV was endorsed in the referendum scheduled for May 5.

But he said it was a “once in a generation opportunity” to bring in change.

“When we have a chance to clean up politics and make our democracy better we should take it,” he said.

A British Rail Class 155 diesel multiple unit (DMU) at Leeds station. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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