Hague's English Parliament Plan to Save UK

The Birmingham Post (England), October 8, 1998 | Go to article overview

Hague's English Parliament Plan to Save UK


The Conservatives will create an English Parliament if they win the next election, Tory leader Mr William Hague will say today.

Mr Hague will stun party members by revealing he plans to adopt a radical programme of constitutional reform in a bid to save the United Kingdom.

It could lead to a new Parliament for England to counter the new Scottish Parliament and could even be based in Birmingham if a Tory Government decided to move it out of the House of Commons.

Mr Hague believes Labour's creation of a Scottish Parliament has created a dangerous imbalance of power, which must be corrected if Britain is to survive.

His team is now looking at measures including an English Parliament and cutting the number of Scottish MPs at Westminster or restricting their right to vote.

It is intended to hold the UK together by preventing a dangerous build up of English nationalism caused by Scotland having an over-representation at Westminster.

They are also studying options for reforming the House of Lords to prevent Labour turning it into a quango of "Tony's cronies".

Mr Hague's announcement in his key conference speech will astonish delegates, coming the day after his constitutional affairs spokesman Mr Liam Fox appeared to suggest an English Parliament was unlikely.

A senior Tory source said constitutional change had not previously been high on the public's agenda but that would change as the results of Labour's policies became clear.

"People believe there is a deep importance in the stability of the nation and when people realise Labour has undermined this they will be horrified.

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