Parliamentary Constituencies Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:25 pm on 2nd June 2020.

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Photo of Gareth Johnson Gareth Johnson Conservative, Dartford 6:25 pm, 2nd June 2020

We all know that boundary changes are long overdue. We have all heard about the anomalies around the country, with some seats knocking on 80,000 to 90,000 electors, and others having only 40,000 to 50,000 electors. That cannot be right. The debate should be about what will happen later, when we are rowing with the boundary commission about its recommendations for our particular area, rather than the principle of changing the boundaries. This is all about fairness. It is about ensuring that, when you go to a polling station on election day, your vote is as worthy as that of somebody else in a neighbouring constituency. That seems to be the basic principle behind this.

I very much agree with what the shadow Minister said about the principle of changing from 600 seats to 650 seats. It is a welcome measure, because since that policy was introduced by the coalition Government, we have had the Brexit referendum, when it was decided that we were going to be leaving the European Union. As a consequence, more laws will be dealt with here, requiring more scrutiny in this House, as opposed to the European Parliament. It would seem odd to have fewer MPs here trying to scrutinise more legislation.