Cornwall Liberal Democrats have welcomed the written statement from Chloe Smith, Minister of State for the Cabinet Office, effectively abandoning the government’s commitment to reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600, and with it the creation of a Devonwall parliamentary seat.
With far more pressing matters at stake the Government is right to abandon what was seen by many as little more than an attempt to create a perpetual electoral advantage to the Conservative party.
The statement reads:
Maintaining 650 seats
Legislation currently provides that, on implementation of the 2018 Boundary Review recommendations, the number of constituencies in the UK shall be 600. The Government is minded to instead make provision for the number of parliamentary constituencies to remain at 650. In doing so, we would also remove the statutory obligation to implement the 2018 Boundary Review recommendations and the statutory obligation on the Government to make arrangements to review the reduction in constituencies to 600 by 30 November 2020.
Malcolm Brown, Group Leader of Cornwall Council Liberal Democrat Group said,
"Liberal Democrats on Cornwall Council have consistently taken a strong, firm position of total opposition to a Devonwall constituency. I went all the way to Exeter to oppose this at one of the many public inquiries. This announcement means parliamentary boundaries could well be looked at again soon. I will do all I can to ensure that Devonwall is finally killed off".
Ruth Gripper, parliamentary spokesperson for Truro and Falmouth Liberal Democrats said,
“I am pleased that in a time of national crisis the government have decided to drop this legislation. We have far more important things to worry about that tinkering with parliamentary boundaries.”
Florence MacDonald, Lib Dem parliamentary spokesperson for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle added:
“This is great news. The people of Cornwall never wanted a Devonwall parliamentary seat. Cornwall is Cornwall and will always remain so.”