Hong Kong needs a British-style voting system which could weed out more extreme candidates, the head of a British parliamentary committee on China relations has told the South China Morning Post in an exclusive interview. Richard Graham, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary China Group , said in comments made ahead of next month’s Legislative Council elections that Hong Kong should adopt a one person, one vote system, which would make councillors more accountable to their constituents. The system allows one candidate with the highest number of votes to be returned in a single-seat constituency. This was used in the 1995 Legco elections, when the Democratic Party won 12 out of 20 directly elected seats. A proportional representation system was introduced in 1998 – the first polls held after the handover. Candidates are returned on the basis of a “quota”, with some being allocated according to the “largest remainder”. This means candidates – including some from fringe parties – can be returned with a low proportion of the vote. This voting structure has led to a more fragmented legislature. The Conservative MP said he thought the Legco election framework was becoming a barrier to the executive and preventing Hong Kong from becoming a more dynamic city. “I am elected by a first-past-the-post system and it is infinitely less complicated than proportional representation,” Graham said. “It means that fringe candidates very rarely succeed whereas under proportional representation, it is more possible for them to do so. Also you have a direct responsibility to your constituents.” Chinese University political commentator Ivan Choy Chi-keung said the previous administration fixated only on not allowing the Democratic Party to control the legislature, ignoring warnings that proportional representation would be a fillip for radical parties. “The existing system has created vested interests, and got seats for smaller parties. So it is difficult to convince them to give up their existing advantage in the new system,” he said. Meanwhile, six pro-independence candidates have been barred from running in the Legco polls , raising fears that political rights and freedom of speech are being curtailed. While Graham would not comment on why they were banned, he maintained: “With a first-past-the-post system, candidates with extreme views on the whole don’t get elected, so it’s less of an issue.” But he stressed “everyone clearly wants to see fair elections”. The MP for Gloucester in southwest England stopped over in Hong Kong for talks with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and two potential rivals for the top post – finance chief John Tsang Chun-wah and retiring Legco president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing. Graham also touched on the disappearance of five Hong Kong booksellers , including British citizen Lee Po. He said: “The most important thing going forward ... is that ‘one country, two systems’ and all the freedoms it implies remain in place. That’s the key to confidence, to investment, to the UK presence here and actually to a wider community overall.” A spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said: “The HK government conducts public elections in accordance with the relevant legislation approved by the Legislative Council. We will not comment on remarks made by individuals.” .