Lords 1, Devonwall 0

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Plans to change the Parliamentary boundaries which would lead to the creation of a ‘Devonwall’ constituency have been blocked in the House of Lords.

Andrew George MP
Andrew George MP

The Government wants to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 by the next General Election, which would mean changing several boundaries across the UK.

The Boundary Commission is recommending a cross-border ‘Launceston, Bude & Bideford’ constituency taking in parts of north Cornwall and north Devon as part of the proposals.

However, the House of Lords voted yesterday by 300 to 231 to delay the move until 2018.

While the plans are expected to be debated by the House of Commons on January 29, Lib Dem MPs have vowed to continue their opposition to the creation of a Devonwall constituency.

Stephen Gilbert, MP for St Austell & Newquay, said: “We went in to Coalition to tackle the enormous deficit Labour left and we did so in good faith with the Conservatives. But the Tories think they can cherry pick the policies in the Coalition agreement that help them, and yet block Liberal Democrat policies that try and help everyone. We won’t let them. I’ve consistently opposed the ‘Devonwall’ concept and am delighted Liberal Democrat colleagues in the Lords have voted to finish it off.”

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, echoed: “We all agree that there are too many politicians and we could happily slash the number of MPs. But not through this kind of gerrymandering.

“Creating anti-septic constituencies with no identity nor respect for historic boundaries would loosen the connection between MP and their constituency and tighten the stranglehold of Westminster in every part of the land.”