MP Tulip Siddiq says boundary change to create ‘Hampstead’ seat is undemocratic
Tory councillor welcomes plan to bring NW3 neighbourhoods together in same political zone
23 October, 2017 — By Richard Osley
Tulip Siddiq says changes need to be based on an ‘up-to-date’ register
LABOUR’S Tulip Siddiq has hit out at new boundary change proposals which would see her constituency given a shake-up as part of a move to cut the number of MPs in the House of Commons by 50.
Under a new map released by the Boundary Commission on Tuesday, she faces losing neighbourhoods in Kilburn and Queen’s Park, heavy Labour-supporting areas as her seat is re-drawn around Hampstead Heath. If approved, it would be re-named Hampstead and include parts of Dartmouth Park and Hampstead Garden Suburb and run all the way to East Finchley.
Sir Keir Starmer’s constituency faces being re-named Camden and St Pancras, with Holborn annexed to the Cities of London seat. His new patch could stretch to Finsbury Park. Ms Siddiq saw her 1,138 majority balloon to more than 15,000 votes at the general election in June, held before proposed boundary changes could be approved. Interested parties can once again send in their views of the new suggestions.
With the Conservatives now relying on help from the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland to get the proposals through the House of Commons, there was talk this week that the changes may never come into effect. The DUP opposed a previous round of changes. Labour and the Lib Dems are against the new draft.
Ms Siddiq said: “Reducing the number of MPs at a time when powers are being repatriated from Brussels is not in the public interest. More than ever, we need close scrutiny of ministerial decisions, yet the government wants to scrap 50 individuals who are capable of delivering it. The government should drop these undemocratic plans, and return at a more appropriate date with a review based on the most up-to-date register, and which considers the community ties that current plans threaten to rip apart.”
Oliver Cooper, the Conservative councillor who worked on the local party’s submission to the Boundary Commission, said: “I think it’s great because everybody in Hampstead will be brought together under one Hampstead parliamentary constituency, whether they are in Hampstead village, West Hampstead, Belsize Park or Hampstead Garden Suburb. In the same way, it will be good for areas of Kilburn to unite too.”
He added: “Tulip will say this can’t happen because of Brexit because she wants to preserve her job, a self-serving MP who doesn’t want to see the reduction in MPs. She shouldn’t be defending having uneven parliamentary constituencies.”