Taking account of local government boundaries

Part of Parliamentary Constituencies Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 25th June 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Chloe Smith Chloe Smith Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Cabinet Office) 3:30 pm, 25th June 2020

And new clause 9, as you said at the outset. I will be very happy to do so. Thank you, Sir David, for that clarification, which was very helpful. I thank the hon. Members who tabled the amendments, and who have made very considered comments on them. I agree with colleagues that we have come to one of the interesting seams of detail that run through what we have to do in the Bill.

The amendments make specific and additional provision for the boundary commissions to take into account the boundaries of polling districts within their consideration of new constituencies where useable data is available. It might help the Committee if I make it clear in what way the amendment is additional to the provisions in the Bill. This is what Professor Iain McLean ended up looking for in his papers during our evidence session.

As colleagues will know, the 1986 Act is where this framework of rules is found, and within that framework of what are called “rules” are what are called the “factors” that are to be taken into account. That is where some of the debate is taking place; there will be others during the course of the Committee. The provision is additional because it would add to those factors, whereas the Bill does not. The Bill proposes to leave those factors as they are.