Residents from Redbridge and Havering joined a national day of action on Saturday (July 31) to “make noise” for proportional representation.

Electoral reform activists from the two boroughs joined campaigners at a stall in Hackney to chant, sing, and bang pots in support of a national campaign organised by Make Votes Matter.

Make Votes Matter contest that first past the post – the existing voting system used for parliamentary elections – is unfair, forcing millions to vote tactically and distorting electoral outcomes.

Wanstead resident Joe Sousek said: "Our first past the post voting system means that parliament doesn't reflect the balance of opinion among the British public.

“The Conservatives got less than 44 per cent of the votes in 2019, yet they got a landslide majority and the power to do whatever they wish.

“The only other country in Europe to use this system for general elections is Belarus.

“It's time we caught up with most modern democracies and adopted a form of proportional representation.”

In March this year Home Secretary Priti Patel announced plans to introduce first past the post for future mayoral and police and crime commissioner (PCC) elections.

While first past the post is used for elections to the House of Commons, mayoral elections and PCC elections across the UK have until now used the supplementary vote system, in which the public ranks their two favourite candidates.

Emma Knaggs, grassroots director at Make Votes Matter, added: “First past the post means seven out of 10 of us are muted at the ballot box, effectively with no voice.

“The Make Votes Matter campaign for equal votes has always been about making our voices heard.

“We are asking people in Wanstead, Hornchurch and across the UK to sign our petition ‘Less First Past the Post, Not More’, and send a clear message to the Government not to impose this archaic system on future mayoral and police and crime commissioner elections.

“This would be a backward step for our democracy and leave millions more voters without a voice in politics, being governed by officials they simply didn't vote for.”