GERALD Howarth, MP for Aldershot, has attacked the Government for refusing to deliver a referendum on the proposed EU Constitution, "while it insists on organising referenda for regional assemblies for which there is virtually no interest."

He told the Star: "The cynicism and arrogance of this Government knows no bounds. Almost 1.7 million people voted in the Daily Mail's referendum last week, with nine out of ten saying they want a chance to vote on the EU Constitution.

"An ICM poll showed the same result. Despite this, the Government insists that the British people have no right to an opinion on Europe, yet they say there is overwhelming demand for a vote on local assemblies.

"By the March deadline, only 5,500 people had expressed a view on a referendum for a regional assembly in their area - that is fewer than the number who voted for the Monster Raving Loony Party.

"In its present form, the constitution would reduce what little accountability there is in Brussels and set the path towards a common foreign and security policy.

"The Government insists these are 'trivial' matters, but the Daily Mail vote shows that the overwhelming majority of the British people disagree. This is an issue of crucial importance.

"This Labour Government must not be allowed to reduce the United Kingdom to a bit part player in a European superstate without the express support of the British people, who show every indication that they do not want such a policy."