The Legislative Council has been expanding its powers and obstructing the city's administration, Beijing loyalists told a visiting Communist Party official yesterday. Not so, said pan-democrats. If the legislature had become more radical it was because of the 'undemocratic' political system and Beijing loyalists siding with the government against its opponents. The public showed what it thinks of such bickering, with barely a tenth of those polled by a university pronouncing themselves satisfied with Legco's performance in the past year. The Beijing loyalists voiced their complaint at a closed-door meeting with Du Qinglin , director of the Communist Party's United Front Work Department - responsible for national unity - who called for a strengthening of the 'patriotic force' in Hong Kong. On the second day of his three-day visit Mr Du, who is a vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference - the mainland's top political advisory body - met 13 Hong Kong members of the CPPCC Standing Committee. Speaking after the two-hour meeting, one of the 13, businessman Chan Wing-kee, said many of his colleagues had raised concerns over 'a legislature seeking increasing power for itself'. 'A lot of us talked about the executive-legislature relationship. It seems that Legco has been expanding its own power, hindering a lot of government work and making governance difficult. Many infrastructure and construction projects have been halted because of this,' Mr Chan said. He offered no specifics. 'While newspapers pay much attention to opposition voices, many objective voices backing the government do not get aired,' he said. Executive Council convenor Leung Chun-ying, former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan and property developers Henry Cheng Kar-shun and Victor Li Tzar-kuoi were among the CPPCC members at the meeting. It is not the first time Beijing loyalists have complained to a visiting senior official about the pan-democrats. They have long accused their opponents of being anti-China and destabilising Hong Kong. Mr Du did not respond to the delegates' comments but did jot down their opinions and promised to convey them to the central authorities, Mr Chan said. 'Director Du did not speak much but mainly listened to us. The main point he made was that the 'love country, love Hong Kong' force should be strengthened.' Mr Chan said the delegates also talked about the city's high unemployment rate and other livelihood issues, but not electoral reform. The unemployment rate rose last month to a near four-year high of 5.4 per cent. Pan-democratic lawmakers reacted strongly to the Beijing loyalists' complaints about Legco. 'I find this statement totally out of order, irresponsible and disappointing,' Civic Party vice-chairman Alan Leong Kah-kit said. 'It is such a misrepresentation of Hong Kong's position to Mr Du.' Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan said Legco had been exercising its powers legitimately. 'We [legislators] always act in accordance with the Basic Law. What have we done against the Basic Law?' Mr Ho believed the Beijing loyalists were trying to act as a 'second governing team' because Beijing saw the Hong Kong government's popularity falling. Peter Wong Man-kong, a local deputy to the National People's Congress, agreed that the relationship between the executive and legislature had to improve. 'If the relationship is too bad, this will have implications for the upcoming political reform,' he said. Mr Wong said there was nothing new in Mr Du's appeal for a stronger 'patriotic force' in the city. Mr Ho said the radicalisation of Legco had been inevitable. He said the government and its allies in Legco should be held responsible for any damage to the legislature's public image because of the disrespect officials had shown lawmakers and attempts by government allies to shelter officials from the opposition. 'This government is really sly,' Mr Ho said at a Democratic Party briefing on the legislative year. 'And what made it worse was how government loyalists voluntarily offered themselves as slaves to shelter failing officials from the public.' He cited the decisions of government allies, using their positions as chairmen of Legco panels, to block pan-democrats' attempts to force officials to brief lawmakers about the appointment as new head of the Monetary Authority of Norman Chan Tak-lam and the commandeering by police of five civilian vehicles to form a roadblock against illegal car racers. The Democratic Party said the opposition parties had thoroughly considered their decisions and had not opposed for the sake of opposition. It had supported all seven bills passed by Legco, Mr Ho said. The performance of lawmakers and the public image of the legislature have been in the spotlight in the past year, in part because League of Social Democrats lawmakers have disrupted some of its meetings. Wong Yuk-man, chairman of the League, threw bananas during the chief executive's policy address in October. In February, Mr Wong and colleague Leung Kwok-hung approached the financial secretary and swept away his papers while he delivered his budget speech. A Chinese University of Hong Kong survey conducted last week found only 11 per cent satisfaction with Legco's performance in the past year. Forty per cent of the 815 people interviewed said some lawmakers were 'too radical'. On the other hand, 14.4 per cent said they were too conservative. League of Social Democrats legislator Albert Chan Wai-yip was surprised to see 'so many' were happy with the legislature's performance. 'I would say I am very dissatisfied if you ask me about Legco's performance. Legco has no power at all to supervise our government,' he said.