MP constituency shake-up set to be scrapped

Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion
Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion

Controversial plans to reduce MPs from 650 to 600, radically changing Brighton and Hove’s constituencies, could be scrapped.

The Conservatives were set to push through plans revealed last September, but reports in a national newspaper said Theresa May was set to ditch the idea over fears of a Tory rebellion.

Peter Kyle, the Labour MP for Hove

Peter Kyle, the Labour MP for Hove

Each constituency was to contain no fewer than 71,031 electors and no more than 78,507. As Brighton and Hove’s electorate is 183,038, under the proposed rules it would only make up 2.45 constituencies, instead of the current three, so Brighton Kemptown was set to be stretched out further into Tory heartlands such as Newhaven to the east.

Green-held Brighton Pavilion was set to be renamed Brighton North, and would have gained traditionally Labour wards Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, alongside Conservative wards Woodingdean and Hove Park.

And Labour-held Hove would have become Brighton Central and Hove, gaining traditionally Green wards Regency, St Peter’s and North Laine, which are part of Pavilion.

Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove, said: “The boundary changes were politically motivated by the Tories to create an electoral system weighted heavily in their favour, so I’m pleased that the Prime Minister has had to jettison the idea. I believe the best way to create a better democracy is to give votes to everyone from the age of 16 upwards and I shall be pursuing this through Parliament in the forthcoming term.”

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown

Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Pavilion, said: “It’s certainly good news that this wrong-headed boundary review has been scrapped. We’ll now have our eyes peeled for any new plan – and ensure that the Government can’t gerrymander any future review.”

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour MP for Kemptown said ‘the whole process was political and unnecessary’ and said in any future review census data should be used instead of the electoral roll.