Caroline Lucas MP, leader of the Green Party, said today that Nick Clegg owes it to the electorate to hold firm on the need for electoral reform in any deal he may strike with the Conservatives in the hung parliament.

The newly-elected Green MP for Brighton Pavilion said today:

"These are uncharted waters for all politicians. But this only makes it more important that Nick Clegg makes his decisions based on the clear steer given to him by voters.

"In this election, the British people have brought in a House of Commons in which a majority of MPs are from parties which support reform. A clear majority of people in the United Kingdom voted for reform of our political system.

"Therefore, any arrangement between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives must include genuine and comprehensive reform of the political system.

"A commission, inquiry, or any other delaying tactic will not be acceptable. There should be a referendum before the end of the year which includes options for a genuinely proportional system, not the self-serving system of AV, which is even less proportional. The people should be asked what voting system they would prefer. That is proper democracy.

"The first-past-the-post system has created a situation where people cannot vote positively for the candidate, or party, whose policies they most agree with. Instead, they are forced to vote in fear, working out how to vote to keep out the party furthest away from them in policy and values. This leaves us a grotesque democratic deficit and a poor basis on which to govern.

"The Liberal Democrats must not be seduced by the trappings of power. The people have voted for reform: Nick Clegg must not betray them."

Caroline Lucas, leader, Green Party