We don’t want less MPS
SNP challenge over proposals to reduce number of constituencies Competition... Competition... Competition... Competition
Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley has called on the UK Government to scrap plans to reduce the number of Scottish constituencies.
The plans, published by the Boundary Commission for Scotland, would see the number of constituencies in Scotland fall from 59 to 53. The move is part of the 2018 review of parliamentary constituencies which would also see constituencies in England reducing from 533 to 501, 40 to 29 in Wales, and from 18 to 17 in Northern Ireland. The commission’s report was submitted to the Secretary of State for Scotland last month and subsequently laid before the UK Parliament. It came after the review, which included public consultations, was launched in 2016. Lanarkshire is currently spread over the constituencies of Airdrie and Shotts; Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill; Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East; Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale; East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow; Lanark and Hamilton East; Motherwell and Wishaw; and Rutherglen and Hamilton West.
The report recommends these are replaced with constituencies of Dumfriesshire and Lanarkshire South East, Lanarkshire North, Lanarkshire North East, Lanarkshire North West, Lanarkshire South West, Lanarkshire West and Mid Lanarkshire.
The SNP’S Ms Crawley – who says her constituency would be “split in half ” – says the plans would “diminish Scotland’s ability to hold the UK Government to account”.
She said: “Instead of reducing the number of democratically-elected MPS, there should be a reduction of the 791 unelected peers in the bloated House of Lords.
“These proposed plans would see Scotland’s representation at Westminster slashed by over 10 per cent, with Scottish MP voices further diminished in a Parliament that looks increasing like it’s set up to work against those protecting Scotland’s interests.
“There is no appetite for these changes 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. If the UK government wants to reduce the cost of politics, the priority must be to abolish the unelected, undemocratic House of Lords, which has zero accountability to voters.”
Lord Matthews, deputy chair of the Boundary Commission for Scotland, said: “The Commission is extremely grateful to all those who assisted us in developing our final recommendations by submitting views or attending public hearings.
“We listened carefully to comments made on our revised proposals and made a number of changes to boundaries and to constituency names.
“We believe our final recommendations meet the requirements of the legislation governing the review, and within those constraints, fairly reflect the views expressed to us during our consultations.”