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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 6:15 pm on 1st November 2010.

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Photo of Susan Elan Jones Susan Elan Jones Labour, Clwyd South 6:15 pm, 1st November 2010

I am not calling merely for kindness from Her Majesty's Government; I am calling for decent, adequate representation for my home nation of Wales within my other home nation of the United Kingdom, of which the nation of Wales is part. It is ironic that tomorrow, in the United States, millions upon millions of people across that large and expansive land will elect their senators, and regardless of the size of the states from which they come, they will each elect two senators. Theirs was a constitution that developed over centuries, and those Americans realised that we ought not to enter into such changes lightly. How different from those on the Government Benches.

Once upon a time, in the "Encyclopaedia Britannica", there were the words, "For Wales, see England". That is what Government Members are saying today, because they do not understand-or perhaps they do, and this really is just gerrymandering, in which case I am being kind to Her Majesty's Government-that we cannot get rid of 25% of the representatives of a nation within the nation of which it is part, and expect there to be no repercussions. Some Government Members will hop up and down and say, "Isn't this a bit unfair? Aren't some bits not truly equal?", but that is not the point. This is about the devolution settlement, which was granted in a referendum. My party was in favour of devolution, but so-called Unionists on the Government Benches were against it-well, some sort of Unionism that shows itself to be this evening!

This is a Government who have already decided that Chesham and Amersham is part of Wales, and who decided in the past that Wokingham was too-and Mr Redwood could not even sing the national anthem. They decided that a representative for Worcester could stand up for the people of Wales.