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Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 5th June 2019.

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Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Immigration) 10:00 am, 5th June 2019

I beg to move,

That, notwithstanding the Order of the Committee of Wednesday 4 July 2018, during further proceedings on the Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill the Committee do next meet at 10.00 am on Wednesday 10 July and thereafter at 10.00 am on Wednesday 16 October.

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Owen. Thanks to everyone for coming.

The Government are in meltdown, but as ever our Committee meets like clockwork. Soon the Conservative party will have a new leader, and our country will have a new Prime Minister. It would be a democratic outrage if that person did not call a general election to let the British people decide whether they want them as Prime Minister. Unfortunately, the Government’s foot-dragging on boundary changes and on my Bill will most likely mean that we end up fighting another election with antiquated boundaries.

Who the next leader of the Conservative party is may well determine, more than any other factor, what happens with boundaries. There are at least two leadership contenders who, based on the 2017 general election results, would either find their seat abolished or lose their seat. Boris Johnson is seen as the front-runner, but his seat is set to be too close to call if the boundary changes go ahead; I wonder whether he would be willing to come to some sensible compromise with the Opposition, if only for his own sake. Ms McVey is also running for the leadership, but her seat is set to be abolished under the new boundaries. Of course, a member of our Committee—