A HUNGER strike, calling for a radical overhaul of the UK’s voting system, will take place in Stroud next week.

Members from the local branch of the Make Votes Matter campaign are joining MPs, MEPs and public figures in the 24-hour strike.

Hungry for Democracy will commemorate the centenary of women’s suffrage, highlight that the struggle for democracy is far from over, and call for the introduction of Proportional Representation.

Kiera Jones, who is taking part in hunger strike, is desperate for a change to the voting system in general elections.

“For me, it comes down to a sense of fairness, which I think we can all identify with,” said Kiera.

“I don’t believe it’s fair that some people’s vote counts more than others, that people feel forced to vote tactically rather than for what they believe in, and that millions of people are denied representation in Parliament.

“The vast majority of developed countries have systems where seats match votes, so why can’t we?”

In the past fortnight both the Stroud Constituency Labour Party and the Stroud District Green Party passed motions in favour of Proportional Representation.

During the 2017 General Election, the Conservative Party obtained 52.9 % of the vote in Gloucestershire but received 83.3 % of the seats.

The Labour Party obtained 28.7 % of the vote but this returned only a single seat.

Other parties obtained 18.4 % of the seats but their voters were left entirely unrepresented.

David Drew, MP for the Stroud constituency, said:

‘It's over 100 years since women first got the vote, but our electoral system is still in need of improvement.

“As a Labour MP, I want our democracy to give a voice to the many, not the few.

“First past the post sadly fails to do this: instead, it all but guarantees divisive minority rule such as we see today.’

High profile hunger strikers include: Amelia Womack (Deputy Leader, Green Party), Ben Bradshaw MP (Labour), Frances Foley (Compass), Hywel Williams MP (Plaid Cymru), Jonathan Bartley (Co-Leader, Green Party), Mary Honeyball MEP (Labour), Molly Scott Cato MEP (Green Party), Natalie Bennett (Former Leader, Green Party), Paul Oakden (Chairman, UKIP), Peter Tatchell (human rights campaigner), Polly Toynbee (journalist & commentator), Baroness Sal Brinton (President, Liberal Democrats) and Stephen Kinnock MP (Labour).