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Clause 8 — Reports of the Boundary Commissions

Part of Police Terms and Conditions of Service (Redundancy) – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 20th October 2010.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Shadow Minister (Justice) (Political and Constitutional Reform) 3:30 pm, 20th October 2010

Tony Blair learned that one should not really mess with the women's institute, and I have no intention of doing so, but my hon. Friend is absolutely right. Large parts of her constituency are very rural, and chunks of mine are semi-rural-everybody in the Rhondda lives within about 200 metres of a farm. Surely the point is that overriding concerns must be able to trump mathematical perfection, not entirely but to a degree. The Government have already accepted that in relation to three constituencies, but it should apply more widely.

My hon. Friend Graham Stringer has tabled amendment 38, which refers to registration. A lot of Members talked about under-registration yesterday afternoon, and the Deputy Leader of the House has just mentioned it. I am glad he accepts that some 3.5 million people are not on the register and should be. I make no pretence that we got it right when we were in government. Indeed, some of us-particularly one of my hon. Friends, who is probably about to intervene on me-quite rightly argued aggressively in the last Parliament that many people are under-represented on the register. The danger is that they will therefore be under-represented in Parliament and their concerns will not be taken on board.