Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Two MPs respond to Devonwall challenge

As reported previously on this blog, Mebyon Kernow Deputy Leader Cllr Andrew Long has written to Cornwall’s MPs and challenged them to pledge to use their vote against any proposals for a Devonwall parliamentary constituency.

MPs will have a vote in 2013 as to whether proposed changes are accepted.

He has received two responses so far. South East Cornwall MP Sheryll Murray (Conservative) wrote:

“Thank you very much for your letter. I tabled an amendment to the Bill which sadly was not selected.

“I also voted to change the threshold which could resulted in a different constituency picture.

“I supported the majority of the Bill and am sure you appreciate that in this time of austerity also to ensure fairness, it is only right that we reduce the number of seats in Westminster and equalise the number of electors per Constituency, thus making essential saving to Government expenditure ensuring fairness throughout.”

Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton (Conservative) meanwhile wrote:

“Thank you for your recent letter which I have read with interest. I have noted your comments regarding the possible creation of a Devonwall constituency and I understand the strength of your concern.

“I can assure you that I remain frustrated by the proposal of a cross-border seat and I certainly appreciate the historical and cultural sensitivities involved with the decision.

“As you may know, this matter has already been debated in the House of Commons and I am sorry that I, together with my fellow Cornish MPs, were not successful in blocking proposals for a cross-border Parliamentary constituency.

“It is very disappointing that not all those people living in Cornwall who are eligible to register to vote did not do so. If they had, it is my understanding that we would have had enough registered electors to keep Cornwall whole. Let’s hope we can persuade enough residents to register in future and the boundaries can be revised. The boundaries will be reconsidered for each General Election.”

Sarah Newton’s comments in her last paragraph are incorrect and it is very disappointing that neither MP is willing to oppose the creation of a Devonwall seat.

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