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Clause 11 — number and distribution of seats

Part of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill (Programme) (No. 4) – in the House of Commons at 6:00 pm on 1st November 2010.

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Photo of Charles Kennedy Charles Kennedy Liberal Democrat, Ross, Skye and Lochaber 6:00 pm, 1st November 2010

That is a very good suggestion, and I am pleased that Labour Front Benchers are nodding in agreement. That suggestion is contained in the group of amendments tabled by my hon. Friends and me, which I mentioned.

In the Isle of Wight, in particular, there has been considerable uproar about these issues. The uproar is yet to come on the mainland highlands of Scotland, but when it does-I say this in all seriousness and I do make a party political point here- generation upon generation of communities that have stuck with the flame of Liberal tradition and history in the United Kingdom through thick and thin, when it has been all but extinguished in many other parts, will absolutely fail to comprehend why Liberal Democrats in government have put their name to such a measure, which takes no account of the very special peripheral circumstances of communities that have helped to maintain the Liberal cause over generations.

It is never too late for Governments to think again. This Government should think again, and my colleagues and I will divide the House to encourage them to do just that.