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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 6:30 pm on 1st November 2010.

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Photo of John Thurso John Thurso Chair, Finance and Services Committee 6:30 pm, 1st November 2010

If the hon. Gentleman will let me first develop my argument, I will happily give way.

We have heard today from both sides of the House a variety of examples of why the two principles have worked in tension against each other for the benefit of the country. My broad argument is about removing that, suggesting an arithmetical figure, and making two exceptions. The exception of size is almost irrelevant, because it would change the constituency of my right hon. Friend the Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber and mine, and Inverness would probably disappear. In the tension between those two principles, which have been dealt with by the boundary commission and through inquiry, we have broadly arrived at a workable set of solutions. Therefore, like the amendment, I urge that we take a similar approach while respecting all the Government's principles.