WESTMORLAND and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has claimed that voting 'no' to AV will weaken the House of Commons relative to the Lords.

Mr Farron told a national newspaper that the Commons would become 'a secondary chamber' if MPs rejected the altervative voting system.

In an interview published in The Times yesterday, Mr Farron - who is president of the Lib Dems - asserted that a reformed House of Lords, elected by proportional representation, would have a new-found legitimacy not matched by the Commons.

Mr Farron said: "We have two houses in Parliament and the only reason that the House of Lords is seen as less important is that it is not elected and so not legitimate, "We will have the House of Lords almost entirely elected by PR, which means that half of the Houses of Parliament will be legitimately elected."

He added that if AV was rejected in the May 5 referendum, the Commons would gradually be undermined.