David Cameron last night talked up the suggestion of creating a special committee of English MPs at Westminster to provide an answer to the controversial issue of the West Lothian Question.

The post-devolution subject of Scottish MPs being able to vote on English matters while English MPs cannot vote on similar Scottish matters has increasingly become a bone of contention within the Conservative Party.

For the past two General Elections, it has had the policy of "English votes for English laws", which would effectively result in Scottish MPs being banned from debating and voting on England-only issues.

However, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former foreign and Scottish secretary, has submitted the proposal of creating an English Grand Committee to the party's Democracy Taskforce, chaired by Ken Clarke, the former Conservative chancellor, which is looking at how to make government and Parliament more accountable.

On Monday, Sir Malcolm expounded what he has called his "East Lothian Answer" to the West Lothian Question - he has a house in Inveresk - and at a fringe a show of hands showed his proposal had majority support among delegates.

The MP for Kensington and Chelsea told them that the Tory policy of "English votes for English laws" - which he had previously dismissed as "a constitutional abortion" - was not properly thought through and had dangerous implications. "You cannot have a Nationalist solution to a Unionist problem. You cannot create two classes of Members of Parliament in the House of Commons." He said it would not work and could be the first stage of the break-up of the UK.

Under his plan, an English Grand Committee would be made up solely of English MPs who could vote on England-only issues and the convention would be that the House of Commons would not overrule its decisions.

Last night, at a Scottish Tory reception at the party's Blackpool conference, the Conservative leader told The Herald: "The point is what Malcolm has suggested to the Ken Clarke Democracy Commission - we will have to make up our mind about it and put it in our manifesto - is quite a good option because it avoids the claim that there are two classes of MP. There are some attractions to it." He described an English Grand Committee as an "elegant" solution to the West Lothian Question, provided the House of Commons as a whole could not override its decisions.

Earlier in the conference hall, Nick Herbert, the Shadow Justice Secretary, insisted English MPs would have the "decisive say" over English laws under a future Conservative government. Interestingly, his use of language conspicuously did not rule out Sir Malcolm's East Lothian Answer.

The shadow minister told delegates that the government's "unbalanced" devolution system in Scotland and Wales had fuelled the flames of nationalism; nationalist parties, the SNP and Plaid Cymru, are now in government.

"The West Lothian Question, first posed by a Scottish Labour MP (Tam Dalyell) about devolution remains unanswered," said Mr Herbert. "The government," he went on, "is following the principled advice of Lord Irvine - that's Lord Irvine of the wallpaper, in case you'd forgotten - who said that the best answer to the West Lothian Question was not to ask it in the first place. But we believe in the United Kingdom and we believe in fairness."

The Democracy Taskforce is due to report before Christmas. However, a snap General Election will bring it forward with Mr Cameron and his colleagues having to decide whether or not they stick to "English votes for English laws" or go for the "elegant" solution of an English Grand Committee.