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Reducing number of Welsh MPs from 40 to 32 ‘diminishes the democratic voice of Wales’

08 Sep 2021 3 minutes Read
A row of election signs in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

Plaid Cymru have criticised the UK Government’s plan to reduce the number of Welsh MPs from 40 to 32 as the proposed boundary changes were published today.

Liz Saville Roberts MP, whose constituency of Dwyfor-Meirionnydd faces significant alternations as a result of the proposals, said that it was the “the most recent of steps on the Tory pathway to taking back control to Westminster”.

Under new rules passed by Westminster each constituency – apart from island seats such as the Conservative seat of Ynys Môn – must contain between 69,724 and 77,062 electors.

The Boundary Commission which set the new borders said that it has no power to set the number of MPs, which was decided by Parliament, and will not be able to consider arguments around the number of constituencies in Wales.

Liz Saville Roberts however said that the overall aim of the changes was in order to “tighten the Tories’ grip on power”.

“From disenfranchising younger people and minorities through mandating voter ID, to reducing Wales’ representation in Parliament by 20% – Westminster offers little more than a pretence of democracy,” she said.

“The people of Wales have a choice: accept Westminster’s latest attack or take a different path with a truly representative, participatory and open democracy in an independent Wales.”

Ceredigion Senedd Member and Llywydd Elin Jones also took to Twitter to criticise the specific proposals for Ceredigion, which would see it combined with the former Preseli Pembrokeshire into one very long constituency.

“It’s 85 miles between Glandyfi and St David’s in the propsed new Ceredigion Preseli constituency,” she said. “That’s a busy Zoom-MP for you! And at least 10% of the Coast Path in one constituency!

“It’s impossible to imagine canvassing or serving an area that big.”

‘Likely to make changes’

Commenting on the publication of the initial proposals, secretary to the Boundary Commission for Wales, Shereen Williams MBE OStJ said she was “delighted to be publishing these proposals today”.

“This publication is the result of months of hard work from our Commissioners and staff, and we’re excited to read the public’s views during our consultation period,” she said.

“We’ve had to propose significant changes due to the reduction in the number of Welsh constituencies and that’s presented a particular challenge as we seek to develop a map which meets the conditions laid out in the Act, but also meets the expectations of the people of Wales.

“We’re confident that our proposals are a strong first attempt to create a workable map of 32 Welsh constituencies. The purpose of our initial proposals however is to start the conversation about how the new map will look.

“Nobody will know your local area as well as you do, so get involved in the consultation and let us know your views.

“As we proceed with the review, we’re highly likely to make some changes to our proposals, so your responses to the consultation could make a significant difference.”

An online consultation portal at bcw-reviews.org.uk features the proposals in full, and members of the public can submit their views directly through the portal.

People can also take part in the consultation by emailing bcw@boundaries.wales or writing to the Commission in the post at Boundary Commission for Wales, Hastings House, Cardiff, CF24 0BL.

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This&That
This&That
19 days ago

Maybe finally time for UK to break up, clearly not workable for everyone anymore. Welsh & Scots will be hit hard with immediate cessation of all social welfare support, unemployment benfits etc, but the individual govs will of course have an alternate plan for those scenatios, they wouldnt push for independance without having a comprehensive plan of 100% self sufficiency in place. Not really even a discussion point, its what they seem to want.

Quornby
Quornby
19 days ago

It doesn’t matter how the Tories twist and turn and howl at the moon we very soon will have zero MPs at Westminster and our country will take its rightful place amongst the sovereign nations at the UN.

hdavies15
hdavies15
18 days ago
Reply to  Quornby

Take it down to ZERO a.s.a.p – the quickest way out !

Andrew Thomas
Andrew Thomas
19 days ago

I may be in a minority here but the less mps the better when we look back this my be a turning point when political talent looks to the senedd rather than Westminster

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
18 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thomas

It’s certainly hard to see how having any Welsh MPs is of any benefit to Cymru, considering their small number and the fact that none save the Welsh Conservative MPs are on the same page as the Tory Government which looks likely to be in office for the rest of this millenium. Think how much more useful Liz Saville-Roberts, for instance, would be in an enlarged Senedd with greater devolved powers or complete sovereignty.

hdavies15
hdavies15
18 days ago
Reply to  Rhosddu

Take it down to ZERO a.s.a.p – the quickest way out ! If I say it often enough it may become reality.

hdavies15
hdavies15
18 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thomas

Take it down to ZERO a.s.a.p – the quickest way out !

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
19 days ago

I would like to know the thoughts of Elfyn Llwyd on this matter…perhaps N.C could ask him…

Last edited 19 days ago by Mab Meirion
G Horton-Jones
G Horton-Jones
18 days ago

Let us remind ourselves that Wales was annexed to England We had no say whatsoever in that decision.
MPs are a direct product or that process
We have no need for them let us consign them to the history books of a long forgotten empire

Charles L. Gallagher
Charles L. Gallagher
18 days ago

The whole exercise stinks of unionist gerrymandering like what they once got away with within N. Ireland!!!

MJGriff
MJGriff
18 days ago

When a country, a country defined by its borders, its culture and its language, has just 32 out of 650 representatives in the legislature of a 4-country nation state, with 100% guarantees that even when 3 out of the 4 countries vote one way, the 4th will inevitably always get its way when it wants a to take a different path (the recent dictat on national insurance shows this) and when all four of these countries have very difficult political landscapes that are only drifting further apart, then to me it’s a no brainer. Time to get out.

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
18 days ago

For my entire lifetime Welsh MPs have only been relevant as a way to boost Labour MP numbers, sometimes enough to form a government that the people of England didn’t vote for. So there’s always been the ridiculous situation of Wales, more often than not, being ruled by an English Conservative government or England effectively being ruled by a minority English Labour party aided by the Scots and Welsh. Some part of this ‘united’ kingdom is always being governed without a mandate so it’s no surprise everyone resents the others. It’s like one of those dysfunctional marriages where they complain… Read more »

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