Sharma, Corbyn among those hit by UK’s constituency changes | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Sharma, Corbyn among those hit by UK’s constituency changes

world Updated: Sep 13, 2016 19:03 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Virendra Sharma

British Labour party Leader Jeremy Corbyn (Centre) stands with campaigners outside the Houses of Parliament in central London on Tuesday.(AFP)

Senior Indian-origin Labour MP Virendra Sharma, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and former chancellor George Osborne are among parliamentarians to be hit by plans to create new constituencies through redrawing of boundaries so that Britain elects 600 MPs instead of the current 650 in the 2020 elections.

The changes seeking to redraw the political map, announced on Tuesday, sent ripples across the political establishment, since they will force many sitting MPs to seek election in other constituencies or vie with others to be nominated.

Several constituencies are to be abolished to create equal-sized seats and cut costs.

The changes are estimated to most adversely hit the Labour party, which called them “undemocratic” and an alleged attempt to rig the 2020 elections. Conservative Priti Patel will also have to look elsewhere after her constituency of Witham in Essex was proposed to be axed.

Sharma, whose constituency of Ealing Southall is to split three ways, told Hindustan Times: “We would be doing a grave injustice to the people if we allow the Tories to blatantly gerrymander unopposed. The Conservative party has completely ignored the traditions and unique identities of each constituency by allowing them to be subsumed for its own benefit.”

“By pressing ahead with proposals despite two million people having been left out of the review, the Tories have revealed the truth about their plan to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600: it is designed for their own political advantage rather than do what is in the best interests of the country,” he added.

The Boundary Commission is due to make its final recommendations to the Theresa May government September 2018. They will then be subject to debate and changes, and if accepted, will be used in the general 2020 election.