New boundary proposals don’t make sense

Proposals to slash the number of MPs in Scotland have been condemned by Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley. 

New plans published by the Boundary Commission would see the current boundaries ripped up and replaced in time for the 2024 general election. 

The number of MPs in Scotland would be reduced to 57 while the number of MPs in England would increase to 543. 

Wales would also see the number of MPs reduced to 32, however no changes are proposed to the number of MPs in Northern Ireland. 

In South Lanarkshire, Lanark and Hamilton East is set to be replaced by two new constituencies – Hamilton and Clyde Valley as well as Motherwell and Clydesdale North. 

Part of the constituency would move to the newly created East Kilbride and Strathaven with the rest, including Carstairs, moved to Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale. 

Similar proposals to reduce the number of MPs in Scotland in 2018 were eventually abandoned. However, those proposals would also have reduced the total number of MPs from 650 to 600. 

Commenting, Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley said: 

“The proposals published by the Boundary Commission are an affront to democracy both locally and nationally. 

“Parts of Clydesdale, including Carluke and Forth, have been shoehorned into North Lanarkshire with no regard for community ties while places like Carstairs are set to be in the same constituency as Peebles, Annan and Gretna. 

“That picture would be reflected across Scotland if these proposals are approved with a number of constituency boundaries which just don’t make sense largely because the number of MPs in Scotland will be decreased. 

“These Tory plans to further reduce Scotland’s representation at Westminster, while increasing the number of MPs for England, underlines the need for Scotland to become an independent country – in full control of our own democratic decisions and with the full powers needed to build a stronger, fairer and greener future. 

“The SNP will strongly oppose any attempt to weaken Scotland’s voice in the UK Parliament but the reality is Scotland will always be outvoted under the broken Westminster system – as we have seen with Tory austerity cuts, Brexit and power grabs imposed against Scotland’s will. 

“Independence is the only way to keep Scotland safe from damaging Westminster decisions and Scotland’s best future lies as an independent country.”