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Former Welsh secretary says boundary changes will mean ‘weaker Welsh voice’

29 Feb 2024 3 minute read
Stephen Crabb by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0).

A Conservative former Welsh secretary has said that changes to the boundaries of MPs’ constituencies will result in “a weaker Welsh voice”.

The number of Welsh constituencies represented in the UK Parliament is set to reduce from 40 to 32 at the next general election, following recommendations from the Boundary Commission.

Stephen Crabb criticised the reduction and the lack of Parliament time spent on Welsh issues, stating that “the smaller nations of the United Kingdom are not being well served”.

Challenge

Mr Crabb told the Commons on Thursday: “I think we’ve got a challenge in the next Parliament, we will have fewer members of Parliament from Wales, significantly fewer members of Parliament from Wales.

“And I say with great sadness that will inevitably mean a weaker Welsh voice in this institution, both in absolute terms and in relative terms, Welsh representation is going to be smaller in the next Parliament.”

The Preseli Pembrokeshire MP also criticised the lack of Parliament time allocated to Welsh issues, adding: “There’s a feeling amongst many of us that … the smaller nations of the United Kingdom are not being well served in this institution at the moment.”

Belittling Wales

During a debate on Welsh affairs, Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville-Roberts accused the UK Government of ignoring and belittling Wales.

The Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP said: “For 14 years Wales has had a UK Government which ignores and belittles our needs, wants and values and uses devolution, our democracy and our Senedd as a political punch bag.

“This is bad for our democracy in the UK and Wales, and we need to find a better way to deal with the UK as it stands.”

Elsewhere, Labour MP Beth Winter called for a fairer funding model for Wales, telling MPs: “(The Government) should replace the Barnett Formula with a fair, needs-based funding system, secure potential borrowing powers, increasing the borrowing cap and winning an increased reserve for Wales.”

She added: “Such measures would give Welsh Government greater power to invest in big ticket initiatives to transform the economy for the long-term.”

The Cynon Valley MP added: “In recent years we’ve seen an unprecedented recentralisation of power here in Westminster, forcing through legislation that conflicts with the position of Welsh Government and the people of Cymru. And I see that today the Senedd has voted to withhold legislative consent regarding the anti-boycott Bill that was passed here in Westminster.

“The independent commission on the constitutional future of Wales final report last month really does mark a landmark moment in Cymru and it concludes that the status-quo is not a viable option for providing stability and prosperity for Wales.

“It proposes three options, enhancing devolution, a federal structure, and independence, and the commission’s proposals do provide an opportunity for a much needed overhaul of both political and economic power for Cymru.”


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David
David
1 month ago

“the smaller nations of the United Kingdom are not being well served”. So S Crabb should see that independence for those smaller nations is a must ASAP.

Geraint
Geraint
1 month ago
Reply to  David

According to ‘They work for us’ website Stephen Crabb generally voted in favour of fewer MPs in parliament. He missed two votes in June 2020 and November 2016 and again in 2016 voted for fewer MPs and more members of the House of Lords.

Geraint
Geraint
1 month ago
Reply to  Geraint

In 2016 Stephen Crabb also stood for the leadership of the Conservative party to replace David Cameron.

Richard E
Richard E
1 month ago

Most people in Wales do not know who their MP is and will miss them not.

Only a handful across all parties gain a profile. 40 or 14 or 4 …. Just what do they do and how do they effect and help us ?

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
1 month ago

No sh*t Sherlock!

Has the crab only just realised that reducing the number of mps from Cymru by 20% drastically reduces the voice of Cymru in westminster?

Why didn’t he say anything at the time the decision was made? If he did, why didn’t he say it louder?

The truth is Cymru is always going to be short-changed while we remain handcuffed to lloegr!

To reach our full potential the only solution is independence!

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
1 month ago

Interesting. Crabb has spoken up previously for Wales & matters Cymraeg. A glimmer of hope for the Welsh Cons?

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

Not with the Crabster I can tell you now. He’s my MP. The words “chocolate”, “teapot” and “as useless as” spring to mind.

He’s probably moaning because his constituency is one of the ones being affected and he’s got a fight on his hands to retain what was once a safe tory seat.

Gwyn Hopkins
Gwyn Hopkins
1 month ago

Tory MP Stephen Crabb states that reducing Wales’ MPs from 40 to 32 will result in “a weaker Welsh voice”. A brilliant deduction! His government decided to allocate MPs to the 4 home nations according to their populations which appears fairly equitable. However, it gives England a huge, unassailable, majority of 84% of MPs. With England’s population unrelentingly increasing at a much higher rate than the rest of the UK, further applications of this principle in future would be very bleak for Wales as it will continue to deplete our MPs and weaken Wales’ voice even further.       

Annibendod
Annibendod
1 month ago

Waiting for the penny to drop would be like waiting for a train to turn up on time in this dysfunctional Tory UK.

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