Boundary changes are ludicrous, says Town Hall leader
The planned changes would dramatically change Jeremy Corbyn's current Islington North constituency
14 September, 2018 — By Emily Finch
Cllr Richard Watts
THE Town Hall leader branded the planned boundary changes, which would dramatically alter Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency, as “ludicrous” this week.
Islington North will be merged with parts of Hackney to form the new constituency of Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington under the final proposals which were released by the government’s Boundary Commission on Monday.
Tufnell Park and Archway, including a stretch of Holloway Road, will also be absorbed into the new constituency of Camden and St Pancras.
Islington’s Town Hall leader Cllr Richard Watts, of the Labour Party, slammed the plans, which have to be approved by MPs and peers before becoming law.
He said: “The plans are ludicrous. The Tories in their total desperation have clearly set the Boundary Commission an impossible task that’s led to creating ludicrous proposals. Islington North has existed as a constituency for a very long time.”
There has been an Islington North constituency since 1885 while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has represented the area in parliament since 1983.
Emily Thornberry and Jeremy Corbyn
The new boundaries seek to reduce the number of MPs in Parliament from 650 to 600 and takes into account population changes throughout the country.
Critics of the new boundaries say it unfairly favours the Conservative Party because more of their MPs could get elected.
Cllr Watts added: “Islington deserves two MPs solely dedicated to our borough who have massive challenges. They are extremely hard work- ing MPs and the current set up works for our resi- dents.”
He also had concerns over the proposed plan because they don’t take into account the population of EU citizens in each area because they cannot vote in an election.
“Islington has thousands of EU citizens and the proposed boundaries are a deliberate effort to gain Tory votes. We should never let the Tories gerrymander,” he said.
Islington South, currently held by Emily Thornberry, remains mostly unchanged in the proposals but will see the addition of Mildmay Ward.
Parliament first approved the principle of reducing the number of MPs back in 2011 while plans to abolish Islington North were first introduced in September last year.