‘Wales’ voice diminished’: Number of Welsh MPs reduced by eight from 40 to 32
New legislation which finished its passage through Westminster today has reduced the number of MPs in Wales by eight, from 40 to 32.
The Government’s Parliamentary Constituencies Act has received Royal Assent, which means the geographical boundaries of constituencies will be redrawn based on population size.
Despite Wales losing 20% of its representatives the number of MPs across the UK will stay the same, at 650.
The independence movement YesCymru said that the change meant that Wales would have less of a voice at Westminster.
“And so Wales’ voice in Westminster is diminished to the point of inconsequence,” they said.
“The lie that there’s any form of parity amongst the Nations of these islands is finally put to bed.”
Plaid Cymru said that “Wales will lose out more than any other nation in the UK as a result of this law – with our voice and representation diminished. Westminster just isn’t working for Wales.”
The Boundary Commissions for Wales will begin drawing up the new constituency sizes starting in January 2021.
This will take into account five protected constituencies which must remain as they are out of geographical necessity – including Ynys Môn.
The Commission must present its final report to the Speaker of the House of Commons by 1 July 2023.
Constitution Minister, Chloe Smith, said that the changes would ensure that “every vote counts the same”.
“Up-to-date, more equally sized constituencies is a sensible policy that will make our elections fairer, ensuring that people from all four nations of the UK have equal representation in Parliament,” she said.
Other changes will give Prime Minister Boris Johnson the power to call an early election.
The Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011 took away the prime minister’s power to hold an early election without the approval of MPs, but will now be scrapped.
The next Westminster election is currently scheduled for 2 May 2024.