Thursday, 8 October 2020


In the House of Lords today, peers considered the Parliamentary Boundaries Bill at Report Stage. Lords Paul Tyler, Nick Bourne and Robin Teverson moved and spoke to an amendment to protect Cornwall (and the Isles of Scilly) as an electoral area.

In response, the Government Minister, Lord True (see photograph), said that he would not accept the amendment to prevent a “Devonwall” constituency.

I was very disappointed that the supporters of the amendment did not push it to a vote, but chose to withdraw it.

It was noted in the debate that peers had earlier in the afternoon voted to increase the variance in constituency size (up or down) from 5% to 7.5%, which it was said would make a cross-Tamar seat more unlikely.

But such a change would not rule out “Devonwall” in the future and it is also unlikely that MPs in the House of Commons will accept this change.

In addition, it must be pointed out that the Bill will lead to a fresh review of boundaries every eight years or so. We supplied evidence from Government’s own Office of National Statistics), which shows “Devonwall” could become a reality by the time of the review due to take place around 2030, because Cornwall’s population is anticipated to rise quicker than other parts of the UK.

Feeling very disappointed tonight, but would wish to add for the record that I was pleased that the leader of Cornwall Council, with the support of the leaders of all political groups on the authority, wrote to numerous Lords, calling on them to support the amendment.

Pretty gutted there was no vote.

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