Scottish Labour MSP and Renfrew resident, Mary Fee has called the proposals by the Boundary Commission for Scotland to split Renfrew in two as absurd following publication of the new draft boundaries.
The Boundary Commission for Scotland has released its draft proposals for new UK Parliament constituency boundaries, with the aim of reducing the number of elected Westminster politicians from 59 to 53 in Scotland and from 650 to 600 across the United Kingdom.
Now Mary Fee MSP has criticised the proposal to split Renfrew into two as absurd, with the Renfrew North ward becoming part of the new West Renfrewshire constituency along with Erskine, Inchinnan, Johnstone, Dalry and Beith, and Renfrew South joining Paisley and Barrhead to become the Paisley constituency.
As well as criticising the Tory efforts to redraw boundaries, Mary has also reaffirmed her support to scrap the House of Lords and called into question the decision to reduce the number of MP’s while increasing the size of the House of Lords by the Tory Government under David Cameron and now Prime Minister Theresa May.
Mary has pledged to support the people of Renfrew against the decision to divide the town and work with politicians of all parties, including MP’s Gavin Newlands and Mairi Black, to get the best for the community.
Speaking from her West Scotland constituency office, Mary said:
“The decision to split Renfrew into two new constituencies is absurd and nothing short of gerrymandering by the Tories. People in Renfrew will be puzzled to understand what links the north of the town with the communities of Johnstone, Dalry and Beith.
“I have long supported calls to scrap the House of Lords and it was in Labour’s 2015 manifesto to have an elected Senate instead. The Tories cannot claim to be cutting the cost of politics while increasing the number of unelected Lords.”
The changes by the Tory Government also means that millions of people across the United Kingdom are missing from the proposals with new boundaries designed around the number of registered voters in 2015 instead of population. This means that 2 million people who registered ahead of the EU referendum are missing from new constituency counts.
Scottish Labour’s Westminster Spokesperson Ian Murray MP has also attacked the changes saying that:
“These Tory proposals to redraw constituency boundaries are unfair, undemocratic and unacceptable. They are based on an out-of-date version of the electoral register with nearly two million voters across the UK missing.
“While the Tories say this is to reduce the cost of politics, they are cutting directly elected representatives and stuffing the House of Lords with their own supporters.”