SCOTTISH trade unionists are challenging Westminster’s “broken political model” with a call for the wider movement to back a proportional voting system for the UK Parliament.

As delegates gather in Aviemore for the Scottish TUC Congress, leading figures such as vice president Lynn Henderson, Nancy Platts, a former adviser to Jeremy Corbyn and Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett have thrown their weight behind reform calls.

A report urges the movement to back a Westminster voting system that follows in Scotland’s footsteps. It calls for the UK Labour leadership to back fair votes and “fix the broken political model”.

The report, called Politics for the Many: The Trade Union Case for Political Reform, comes after the STUC earlier this year dropped its historic opposition to electoral reform, with Congress deciding the “burden of proof now rests with those who defend the status quo”.

In the report, the STUC argues that the Westminster political model has allowed legislation to continually strip back trade union rights in the UK, while locking unions out of involvement in government, in contrast to much of Europe. It says the Westminster voting system is increasingly working against the progressive majority from forming the next government and proportional representation is linked to greater economic equality and better social outcomes.

Under proposed new boundaries, analysis shows that electoral bias against the left means the Tories will need a lead of 1.6 per cent to win a majority – less than they won by in 2017 – while Labour will need a lead of more than eight per cent.

Unlike Holyrood or Scottish council elections, those in Northern Ireland and the Welsh Assembly and in most developed democracies, Westminster still use “first past the post”. Henderson, who wrote the foreword to the report, said: “There is increasing momentum for change within the labour movement – not least in Scotland – and this report is the latest example of that. Extending Scotland’s proportional voting system to Westminster is vital in building a truly ‘kinder, gentler’ politics.”

Platts, the report coordinator, said: “A new democratic settlement with a fair voting system is vital for the change we need in this country... More and more figures in the labour movement are joining the campaign.”

Beckett said: “First past the post is not working in workers’ interests – it is skewing our economy and leaving swathes of the country to wither on the vine... It’s time for a politics of the many, not the few.”

Willie Sullivan, director of the Electoral Reform Society Scotland, added: “Westminster’s rigged voting system is holding back progress. It’s time for a more representative Parliament, where every vote counts”