Mid Derbyshire MP criticises boundary proposals to scrap constituency

Pauline Latham, Conservative MP for Mid Derbyshire.
Pauline Latham, Conservative MP for Mid Derbyshire.

Mid-Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham has criticised new Boundary Commission proposals which would see the constituency abolished.

The recommendations, which aim to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600, have been laid in Parliament but would need to be passed by votes in the House of Commons and House of Lords to become law.

Pauline said: “The report is disappointing but not a surprise. In principle, I supported the reduction in seats when it was first mooted but now we have the prospect of Brexit and the workload of MPs is going to be much greater once that goes through.

“To reduce the number of MPs at this time would be ill-advised.”

She added: “I accept that it was a Conservative Party manifesto commitment to look at constituency boundaries but I am not happy with the recommendations so will have to think hard about whether I vote for them.”

As it stands, Mid Derbyshire encompasses the communities of Belper, Duffield, Allestree, Oakwood, Spondon, Little Eaton, Breadsall, Ockbrook, Borrowash, Stanley, West Hallam, Morley and Dale Abbey.

The proposed changes see the constituency divided between Erewash, Amber Valley, Derbyshire Dales and a new constituency of Derby East.

Pauline said: “I really don’t think some of the changes make sense. Why would Allestree be in Amber Valley and Belper go back into the Derbyshire Dales?

“I have found a wonderful spirit among the communities of Mid-Derbyshire where I have a long-standing affinity.”

She added: “I am not interested in starting again as an MP in an area I don’t know even it were a safe seat.”

The proposed changes have also been criticised by the Labour Party over their potential impact on parliamentary sovereignty.

Cat Smith MP, the Shadow Minister for Voter Engagement and Youth Affairs, said: “The Government is weakening the role of Parliament and creating unprecedented levels of executive dominance at the expense of backbenchers, when Parliament is meant to be taking back control.

“Labour has repeatedly said that a boundary review is needed ahead of the next General Election, but we cannot support the Government’s undemocratic proposals.”

Mid Derbyshire was created in a boundary review prior to the 2010 General Election, combining parts of Erewash, Amber Valley, Derby and the former West Derbyshire seat.

Pauline has held the constituency ever since, and won a majority of 11,616 after increasing her share of the vote to 58.6 per cent in the 2017 General Election.