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24 September 2014
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16.12.03


BBC NEWS
RADIO 4


Today programme Christmas poll invites listeners to re-write the laws of the land


Today listeners are being invited to suggest a new piece of legislation for the programme's Christmas poll.


The Listeners' Law Poll invites the Today audience to suggest a new law, or a change to an existing piece of legislation.


The best suggestions will be short-listed and listeners will vote for their favourite idea.


MP Stephen Pound will put the winning suggestion to the House of Commons in the New Year and Today listeners will be kept informed of the law's progress through the legislative process until the idea is either thrown out of the House or makes its way onto the statute book.


Some celebrity suggestions have already been made to the Today programme -


Brian Eno wants people to be able to allocate their taxes to specific Government departments;


David Aaronovitch wants smacking to be criminalised;


George Melly wants to separate the church and the state;


Lynne Truss wants to legalise defacing public posters and signs in order to improve grammar.


The only rule is that the proposed law cannot already be on offer from one of the main political parties.


Today Editor Kevin Marsh said: "Looking at the letters and emails we receive from Today listeners it's obvious they have very strong views about how we're governed.


"We think this is a great opportunity to give people a chance to have real influence on the law of the land - and to see how that law is made."


Listeners can submit suggestions from 9.00am on Wednesday 17 December.


They can propose ideas via the Today website - www.bbc.co.uk/today.


Or they can post them to Listeners' Law, The Today Programme, Room G630, BBC Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, W12 7RJ.


The deadline for suggestions is 9.00am on Wednesday 24 December.


A panel consisting of Today Editor Kevin Marsh; Stephen Pound MP; political commentator and Politicos bookshop owner Ian Dale; and Julia Hartley-Brewer, Sunday Express political Editor, will short-list five ideas.


The final five suggestions will be determined by popularity and whether they have a realistic chance of becoming law.


Once these have been selected, listeners vote for one to be put before to the House of Commons.


Voting will end at noon on Wednesday 31 December.


The winning idea will be announced on New Year's Day 2004.


All the BBC's digital services are now available on Freeview, the new free-to-view digital terrestrial television service, as well as on satellite and cable.

Freeview offers the BBC's eight television channels, interactive services from BBCi, as well as 11 national BBC radio networks.


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