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The boundaries that know no boundaries

The Boundary Commission proposals were published in September. The Commission proposes the abolition of seven constituencies in London - six of which are Labour and include the constituency of the Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. Ian McLaughlin, CLP Chair, takes a look at the undemocratic and flawed process.

One of the “legacies” of the Tory/ LibDem Coalition is a decision to reduce the number of MPs and to “equalise” the size of constituencies. The Boundary Commission published its proposals for achieving this in September.

The population figures that the Government instructed the commission to use were, however, for those who were registered to vote in Parliamentary elections in December 2015. In Islington South’s case this excludes some 9,000+ EU nationals, who are entitled to vote in local elections, and the many thousands of people who registered to vote in the London elections and the EU referendum.

Our MP, Emily Thornberry, cannot pick and choose which residents she helps and represents – she has to represent them all, regardless of their voting status, together with those who have not registered to vote as a result of the new registration regime.

In London, seven constituencies will be abolished and, surprise, surprise, six of them are currently held by Labour.

Islington South is scheduled to retain its existing eight wards, with the addition of Mildmay ward from Islington North. Islington North, however, will be broken up: two wards will go to Camden and the rest will be merged with parts of Hackney to form a new constituency: Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington. Can it be a coincidence that the Leader of the Labour Party’s constituency is being abolished?

The Commission’s proposals are now subject to consultation and further proposals, which could be different from the current ones, will be published in February 2017. The last time around they were changed, but the changes were not implemented. We’ll keep you posted on this undemocratic and flawed process.

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