§ Mr. Dalyell
To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 8 December 1997,Official Report, column 408, if he will define the modernisation of the political system. 
§ The Prime Minister
[holding answer 22 December 1997]: Our plans for modernising the political system were set out clearly in our General Election manifesto. Our aim is the democratic renewal of our country through decentralisation, the elimination of excessive government secrecy, and cleaning up politics. We have already begun the decentralisation of power to Scotland and Wales, endorsed by referendums. We have put forward proposals for giving Londoners a real voice through a strategic authority and directly elected mayor. We have established an independent Commission on voting systems to consider and recommend an alternative to the present for Parliamentary Elections to be put before the people in a referendum. We have brought forward a Bill to introduce proportional representation for the European Elections. We have published our proposals for a Freedom of Information Act, to transform the culture of government and make it more open and accountable. Together this amounts to significant progress in the modernisation of our political system.