Local MPs have attacked the proposed boundary changes to Parliamentary Constituencies as anti-democratic and have vowed to oppose them in Parliament.
Labour has accused the Government of gerrymandering and leaving out millions of people from the calculations. Over 700,000 people under the age of 25 applied to register to vote online in the month prior to the EU referendum and are not included in the calculations for the seat boundaries. In London a staggering 6% of the total electorate have been left out. In some London boroughs nearly 20% of the electorate have been missed out of this count.
In a statement Ruth Cadbury MP and Seema Malhotra MP said,
“It is not fair to cut the number of elected MPs from 650 to 600 at a time when the unelected House of Lords is growing faster than ever, to over 800, and a time when we’re losing other elected representatives in the form of 73 MEPs. Labour supports the principle of equalising the number of electors in each constituency but the reality of this review is it is unfair, undemocratic and designed to give the Tories a political advantage rather than do what is in the best interests of the country.”
These proposals will now go through a year of consultation before a vote in Parliament in Sept 2017. They do not affect local government boundaries. Wards remain exactly the same as before, and Hounslow’s boundaries as a Borough are unaffected.
The MPs have vowed to carry on serving their constituents as normal and to reassure residents that at this stage the proposed boundaries are simply proposals, and will go through only after a vote in Parliament next year. They do not come into force until the next General Election. Even if the review does go ahead the initial proposals may be subject to change.
It’s not just Labour concerned about this boundary review. The Chair of the Procedures Committee, the Tory MP Charles Walker, has called it ‘perverse’ saying it risks “bringing this country’s democratic settlement into disrepute.