Review of Scottish Westminster constituencies must be scrapped
SNP and Lib Dems call on the UK Government to scrap its proposals to reduce Scottish MPs from 59 to 53
Westminster: Picture credit - Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/
The UK Government must scrap its boundary review proposals, which would reduce the number of Scottish MPs from 59 to 53, according to the SNP and Lib Dems.
The Boundary Commission for Scotland today published proposals for Westminster constituencies across the UK.
- Newly drawn constituency boundaries could hand the Conservatives an increased majority
- Government urged to legislate to increase number of female MPs
In total, the number of constituencies would drop from 650 to 600 and in Scotland this means 59 constituencies would be reduced to 53.
Tommy Sheppard MP, the SNP's spokesperson on the House of Lords, Scotland and Cabinet Offices, said plans to cut Scottish MPs were "completely unacceptable" and a distraction from the big issues facing the country.
He said: "At a time when the whole country faces the huge threat of an extreme Tory Brexit, fiddling the boundaries of MP's constituencies is the last thing the UK government should be wasting its time on.
"The Tories must now scrap their completely unacceptable plans to slash Scotland’s representation at Westminster.
“The proposals to reduce the number of Scottish MPs by ten per cent would significantly weaken Scotland's ability to hold the UK government to account, and defend our national interests.”
The Scottish Liberal Democrats have also called for the plans to be scrapped.
Chief whip Alistair Carmichael MP said: “The DUP will not wear this review. Nor will many Tory backbenchers. The government should stop wasting public funds and bow to the inevitable.
“But if by some miracle it does go through, the Liberal Democrats will fight and win seats on these boundaries, in considerably stronger numbers than we managed last time.
“We will be making representations in the final eight week consultation for retaining strong community ties just as we have done at every stage of the review.”
The latest proposals are now out for public consultation until 11 December.
Lord Matthews, deputy chair of the Boundary Commission for Scotland, said: "After careful consideration of all of the comments received during the consultations on the Initial Proposals, the Commission has designed this revised set of constituencies.
“Where the legislation has allowed it, we have tried to respond to the views expressed to us. However, in some areas, we have been unable to make changes because of the constraints on constituency design within which we work.
"This is the final opportunity we have to obtain views on our proposals so we can further improve them where the legislation allows us to do so. I hope people will take the opportunity to contribute, whether for or against what we have proposed."
Lords to question Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey over the future of chemical regulation after the UK leaves the EU
A majority of Conservative voters also backed new onshore wind developments
The investment, split over 2017-18 and 2018-19, will be used to construct and upgrade farm buildings and to improve infrastructure
The Home Office will take a three-month break from ‘proactive data sharing’ with other UK Government agencies