Wednesday 5 September 2018 / 12:01 AM Cat Smith

Tory boundary plans are yet another power grab – Cat Smith

Cat Smith MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs, responding to the Boundary Commissions submitting their final reports and recommendations for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries to the Government, said:

“Cutting the number of MPs by 50 as we prepare to leave the European Union is yet another power grab by this Government. With no plans to reduce the number of Ministers it will weaken the role of Parliament, to the advantage of the executive, at the time when Parliament is meant to be taking back control. Theresa May needs to think again.

“Clearly the political context has changed significantly since these flawed proposals were first agreed under David Cameron. Now with the workload of MPs set to rise after Brexit, with thousands of pieces of important legislation expected to come through parliament, it would be utterly ludicrous to go ahead with these boundary changes.

“Labour has repeatedly said that a boundary review is needed ahead of the next General Election. However, we cannot support the Government’s undemocratic proposals, which seek to strengthen the power of the executive at the expense of backbenchers, and ignore the voices of over 2 million voters.

“We stand ready to work with all political parties to agree an accelerated timetable for a new review that benefits our democracy, not just the Conservative Party.

“Now that the Boundary Commissions have submitted their final reports, the Government must publish the recommendations as a matter of urgency and not keep them secret. There must be full transparency over this process and the Tories must also provide assurances that there are sufficient checks in place to prevent the Government from using this knowledge to further their own political advantage.”