Eddie Mair 4pm - 7pm
Constituency boundaries redrawn in proposed plans for England
8 June 2021, 08:57
Sir Keir Starmer has had his parliamentary boundaries significantly redrawn, while Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak's constituencies remain mostly unchanged in a redesigned electoral map of England.
The Boundary Commission of England published its initial proposals for the redesigned electoral map, in an attempt to make each constituency more balanced in terms of voting numbers.
In the plans, England would gain 10 extra seats from Wales, which would lose eight, and Scotland, which would lose two.
Sir Keir's North London seat of Holborn and St Pancras would be renamed Kentish Town and Bloomsbury, only retaining nine of its wards, as the area is currently five per cent over the limit.
On the other hand, Mr Johnson's Uxbridge and South Ruislip would keep similar boundaries to the current map, adding one extra ward.
Mr Sunak's constituency - Richmond - would only lose two wards to Thirsk and Malton.
Of the 533 existing English constituencies, less than 10 per cent would remain unchanged.
The commission stressed that the proposed plans were provisional for the consultation period, with final recommendations set to be made to Parliament in July 2023.
Tory MP for Lichfield in Staffordshire Michael Fabricant complained about the proposed changes to his constituency.
"It divides Lichfield Trent Valley station in two and cuts off the eastern edge of Lichfield itself. Frankly, it's a nonsense," he said.
"It bears all the hallmarks of boundaries drawn in the 19th and 20th centuries by Whitehall mapmakers in days of empire without any knowledge or care of the regions and people concerned."
Commission secretary Tim Bowden said: "Today's proposals mark the first time people get to see what the new map of parliamentary constituencies might look like. But they are just the commission's initial thoughts.
"We want to hear the views of the public to ensure that we get the new boundaries for Parliamentary constituencies right."
The Boundary Commissions for Scotland and Wales are set to publish their proposals separately.