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SNP and Labour slam boundary review proposals for Scotland

Phytoplankton bloom off the coast of Scotland - ESA

SNP and Labour slam boundary review proposals for Scotland

Plans to reduce Scotland’s number of MPs by six, from 59 to 53, have drawn criticism from the SNP and Scottish Labour.

The 2018 Review of UK Parliament Constituencies includes a proposal to redraw boundaries based on the 2015 electoral roll with two exceptions: Orkney and the Western Isles.

The remaining 51 Scottish constituencies would have electorate no fewer than 71,031 voters and no more than 78,507.

Tommy Sheppard MP, the SNP's spokesperson on the House of Lords, Scotland and Cabinet Offices said the proposals would “diminish Scotland’s voice” at Westminster.

"For the mainland Highlands - which has a geographic area one and a half times the size of Wales - to be cut down to just two constituencies, as this report recommends, is ludicrous,” he said.

“There is no appetite for these changes at present, and I am confident that these proposals won’t see the light of day.

 “At a time when it is more important than ever to hold this hapless Tory government to account, Theresa May wants to cut the number of Scottish MPs at Westminster. It is completely unacceptable that the Tories consider boundary changes a priority when they have their own chaotic Brexit to deal with.”

Shadow Scottish Secretary Lesley Laird said the proposals ignored a number of new voters who registered for the Brexit referendum.

"For the Tories it’s no longer about marginal gains, but instead about gaining marginals,” she said. 

"Scotland has an important role to play in shaping post-Brexit Britain yet is being treated as collateral damage in this process.

“And as powers flow back from Brussels, parliament's capacity to examine extra legislation will be seriously diminished while its ability to challenge the Government is weakened.

“This is not good for the people, not good for democracy and the Boundary Commission must be allowed to take into account significant changes to the electoral roll, and the post-Brexit landscape. This proposal must be rejected.”

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