Committee (11th Day) (Continued)

Part of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill – in the House of Lords at 12:15 am on 19th January 2011.

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Photo of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Labour 12:15 am, 19th January 2011

I will have to be very careful because I am not a nationalist and I do not want to do anything that would argue the case for separation, but the city of Edinburgh has a great history, as I am sure my noble friend would agree. I think there is a very strong case for it having five separate constituencies. My noble friend should take account of the fact that I am currently an elected representative for an area that includes the city of Edinburgh. I am putting forward my argument today because I have been approached by the four Labour Members in the city of Edinburgh, who represent four of the five constituencies and who feel very strongly about this. That includes Mark Lazarowicz, whose constituency includes Leith.

Because of the growth that I was describing in the Leith area we expect about 25,000 additional residents on the waterfront and Newhaven. Creating five constituencies in Edinburgh would in no way breach the plus or minus 5 or 10 per cent thresholds that we have discussed earlier-certainly not 10 per cent and probably not 5 per cent. It would allow those five constituencies to be agreed within the one local government area, the City of Edinburgh Council. Other constituencies in Scotland, apart from the Western Isles and Orkney and Shetland, which have already been dealt with, could be dealt with moving out from Edinburgh, creating them one after the other as we move around Scotland.

I hope we can give this kind of guidance to the Boundary Commission. If we are able to take special account of the special needs of the Isle of Wight, I hope we will also take account of the special needs of the city of Edinburgh.

[For the continuation of today's proceedings, see Official Report, 20 January 2011.]

[Continuation of Official Report from col. 486, of Wednesday, 19 January 2011.]