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David Ward, Gerry Sutcliffe, George Galloway and Shipley's Philip Davies back opposition
Shipley MP Philip Davies was among four Tory rebels who yesterday helped ditch a bid by the Conservatives to redraw Parliamentary constituencies for the 2015 general election.
Nick Clegg led Liberal Democrat MPs, including David Ward (Bradford East), through the No lobby to vote down a Government Bill.
The implementation of the boundary review – thought to be worth about 20 extra seats in the Commons to the Tories – will now be delayed until 2018.
They were joined by Gerry Sutcliffe (Lab, Bradford South) and George Galloway (Respect, Bradford West).
Conservative Keighley MP Kris Hopkins voted with the Government which lost 292 to 334.
Mr Clegg initially supported the changes as part of a package of constitutional reforms but then said his party would try to delay the review after the Tories forced the abandonment House of Lords reform plans.
The latest proposals drawn up by the Boundary Commission would have seen eight MPs representing voters across the Bradford Metropolitran District instead of five. It would have created four main Bradford seats but also placed parts of the district in four other areas across West Yorkshire.
Mr Davies said: “We were reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600, but they were not reducing the number of Government ministers by the same proportions. I thought it was totally and utterly unacceptable.
“As it turned out, the boundaries were unacceptable to my constituents as well. Bingley and Bingley Rural would have been split up, which was nonsensical to me.”
Mr Ward said: “I never supported the boundary changes – the proposed boundaries placed two of the Council wards in my constituency into two new Leeds constituencies and two others into two new Bradford constituencies – it was a ridiculous carve-up and produced ridiculous new constituencies across Bradford.”
Mr Galloway said: “I listened to the arguments and voted, on balance, for the amendment which killed the boundary reorganisation, largely because, had the changes happened, they would overwhelmingly have benefited the Tories.”
Mr Sutcliffe, whose constituency would have been abolished under the latest proposals, said: “It was all about political advantage, not for democratic reasons.”
Mr Hopkins was openly critical of the Liberal Democrats.
“Nick Clegg and his party colleagues have gone back on their commitment to reduce the number of MPs, equalise the size of constituencies and give people fair votes,” he said.
“In so doing, they have added £13.5 million to the annual cost of politics, on top of a similar amount already spent on the boundaries review.”
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