The Electoral Reform Society is pleased to announce the appointment of Darren Hughes to its senior team.
Hughes, 33, a former New Zealand Labour MP, government minister and opposition spokesperson joins the team in the new post of Campaigns and Research Director.
He will now lead the organisations day-to-day campaigns and lobbying activity as it prepares to tackle a diverse agenda from voter registration to women in politics and House of Lords reform.
Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society said:
Britain urgently needs new ideas and fresh perspective on how politics can work, and that’s precisely what Darren offers.
While in Britain we’re stuck with a 19th Century democracy, New Zealand has moved on. We’re confident Darren has the skills and experience to help us win the argument for a new kind of politics.
Darren Hughes said he was motivated to be involved with the Society because of the big issues facing British democracy. Darren said:
Building a better democracy means valuing every vote, removing barriers to participation and ensuring representative bodies reflect the communities they are elected to serve. The Society is a modern and relevant voice articulating the case for change in those areas.
The Society works to continually improve the health of democracy in Britain so it can remain an example to the world. That’s the mission I’m looking forward to joining.”
New Zealanders turned their backs on First Past the Post for national elections in a referendum in the 1990s. A follow up vote last year saw the public vote to keep their proportional system.
Darren Hughes added:
I have had the privilege of being an MP both in government and opposition under PR. I have seen it deliver a more inclusive and fairer style of governance. While reform of the lower house is just one part of the Society’s work, the fact remains that the House of Commons has a direct impact on every person living in the United Kingdom so improving its effectiveness is critical.”
Katie Ghose added:
We believe that our democracy can be better, and Darren has seen what that means first hand. He will prove an invaluable asset to the team.
"New Zealand’s loss is our gain.”