Mordaunt claims MP numbers would surpass 2,000 if Westminster adopted Senedd reforms
The House of Commons would need to accommodate more than 2,000 MPs if it adopted a similar expansion to the Senedd, Penny Mordaunt has claimed.
Legislation tabled by the Labour-run Welsh Government, as part of the co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru, seeks to increase the number of Senedd members from 60 to 96 while also making changes to how they are elected.
Commons Leader Ms Mordaunt said she is “shocked” by the plan and said an equivalent move for the UK Parliament on the same constituent-to-politician ratio would result in an increase from 650 MPs to 2,058.
Speaking at business questions, Conservative MP Virginia Crosbie (Ynys Môn) said: “Ynys Môn is represented by five members of the Senedd, soon to increase to six, and merge with another constituency, which could result in not one MS living on Ynys Môn.
“Conversely the UK Government has recognised Ynys Môn’s unique island character by granting the island special protected status.
“Does the Leader of the House agree with me that the Welsh Labour Government, propped up by Plaid, should be prioritising increasing the number of GP and dentist appointments, not increasing the number of MSs by a staggering 60% from 60 to 96?”
Ms Mordaunt replied: “I’m shocked to hear about this plan to massively increase the number of MSs.”
She said the answer to improve healthcare is “seldom more politicians, it’s usually more GPs”, adding: “Just to put this in context, on the same constituent-to-politician ratio as the plan they are outlining in Wales, if that were transferred to the House of Commons this chamber would have to accommodate 2,058 Members of Parliament.
“That is Labour’s blueprint for governing Britain I think.”
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Wales is the most under-represented country in the UK – and the UK Government has made this worse by cutting the number of Welsh MPs from 40 to 32 at the next general election.
“Our once-in-a-generation Senedd reform plans have been in progress since 2017 and will strengthen democracy in Wales.
“The changes – which are currently being debated by members of the Senedd – will create a modern Senedd better able to represent the people of Wales, with increased capacity to scrutinise, make laws, and hold the government to account.”
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