A CROSS-PARTY group of MPs has launched a fresh effort to reform the UK’s “undemocratic” voting laws, with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Electoral Reform.

The group will work towards a more proportional voting system for all elections in the UK, as well as pushing for other reforms to boost democracy at Westminster.

Backed by the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) and Make Votes Matter (MVM), the APPG was launched yesterday, backed by MPs and peers to “secure policy change for greater democracy in the voting system and process, to champion accountability and the voice of voters”.

Members will examine voting rights in the UK, as well as areas where reform is urgently needed, including elections to the Commons and the unelected House of Lords.

Campaigners have long challenged the “warped” one-party-takes-all Westminster system, which is looking increasingly out of place in the rest of the UK. Proportional representation – which ensures seats more closely match how people vote – is already used for the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Senedd, Northern Ireland and London assemblies and local elections in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The APPG will push for concrete changes that can empower voters and modernise politics at Westminster.

Labour’s Alex Sobel will chair the group and the SNP’s Tommy Sheppard is among its vice-chairs.

The ERS said the major cross-party backing is a “breakthrough”, with voters of all parties short-changed by unjust election results.

Sheppard said: “We aim to bring to others the experience in Scotland which has demonstrated that proportional voting systems at both national and local level deliver administrations which better reflect the wishes of the electorate, and can also result in majority government where one party commands sufficient support.

“The SNP welcomes the formation of a cross-party group to pursue electoral reform. The party has long supported fair voting and abolition of the House of Lords.”

Sobel added: “I’m delighted that MPs across the spectrum are coming together to back the growing calls for electoral reform.

“Too many voters feel ignored and locked out by out-dated and warped systems at Westminster.

“This APPG is a step forward in the push for greater accountability, democracy and transparency, and a chance to learn from positive electoral reforms that have already empowered millions of people across the UK.

“With real reform, including a more proportional voting system, we can move forward as a democracy and bring Westminster into the 21st century.”