Leading Labour lawmakers have joined forces to push for reform in the UK.
Leading the charge will be former prime minister Gordon Brown, who will be joined by Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, mayors of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin, as well as Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, who will all speak at a rally in Edinburgh on Thursday.
The organization, which goes by the name Alliance for Radical Democratic Change, will appeal to political figures from various parties and regions of the nation to support their cause.
The House of Lords should be abolished and replaced with a second house, as well as further devolution to the UK’s cities and regions, according to Mr. Brown’s report on the future of the country, which was published six months before to the launch.
In a joint mission statement, the group – which will launch in conjunction with Mr Brown’s think tank Our Scottish Future – said: “There is a UK-wide demand for change.
“We recognise the urgent need for working together – locally, regionally and nationally across the UK – to reform our constitution so we can deal with the current economic and social challenges faced in every area of our country.
“To that effect we are creating the Alliance for Radical Democratic Change to implement wide-ranging proposals for the reform of the UK – to end the centralisation of power in Whitehall and Westminster, to devolve effective economic and social powers to the regions and nations, to make our cities and regions centres of initiative for full employment and good jobs, and to ensure co-ordination between all levels of government to achieve a fairer, greener and wealthier Britain, in which each nation and region enjoys the respect it deserves.”
Speaking ahead of the event, Mr Drakeford said: “We need a new strengthened union which guarantees that no-one will find themselves unable to eat or relying on a food bank; facing old age or illness at the margins of society.
“A union which offers strong devolution for all parts of the UK; a union where all four nations are treated as equals.”
Mr Burnham said: “Just like Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the north of England has suffered from an over-concentration of political and economic power in the South East of the UK.
“This is changing with the devolution of power out of Westminster, but in our experience it works best when it goes deep.
“Places in all parts of the UK should have the ability to build a better future from the bottom up and collaborate with neighbours.”
Scotland’s minister for independence has called on Mr. Brown to apologize to the Scottish people, claiming he broke agreements he made with then-prime minister David Cameron and vice-prime minister Nick Clegg in the run-up to the 2014 vote.
In a statement released ahead of the Edinburgh rally, Jamie Hepburn said Mr Brown had “made promises that would have made even snake-oil salesmen blush”.
He said Mr Brown “could not have been clearer that if people in Scotland voted against independence, in his own words, that ‘we’re going to be, within a year or two, as close to a federal state as you can be’.”
The SNP MSP said since the independence vote in 2014, Scotland has been “dragged out of the EU against our will” and has seen the powers of the Scottish Parliament come “under attack like never before”.