Shipley MP Philip Davies welcomes Lib Dem boundary changes ‘veto’

A row within the coalition Government looks to have killed off controversial proposals to reshape Bradford’s parliamentary constituencies.

Proposals by the independent Boundary Commission, which looked to reduce the number of constituencies from 650 to 600 with an average of 75,000 voters in each, would have seen the end of the Shipley constituency and parts of Bradford being represented by out-of-district MPs.

But Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg yesterday said his party’s MPs would vote to block the Conservative plans after Tory MPs derailed his party’s planned reform of the House of Lords, putting strain on the coalition.

A third of the Shipley constituency would have moved into Bradford West, a further third into Keighley and the remainder into Bradford Central and East and Guiseley and Yeadon .

Shipley MP Philip Davies last night said he had been opposed to the Bill before the proposed changes were made so he was pleased they now seemed unlikely to take place but he criticised the way it had come about.

“I can’t say I particularly have a great deal of time for the Lib Dem attitude – ‘we don’t get House of Lords reform, you don’t get the boundary changes’.

“That’s a rather puerile way of doing politics in this country, but if that is the outcome than that’s a double victory as I didn’t want either the House of Lords reform or the boundary changes.

“The changes that were being proposed didn’t make any sense at all and my constituents weren’t happy about it, so I’m delighted on every level and I think many of my constituents will be very pleased if the constituency stays as it is as well.”

Bradford East Lib Dem MP David Ward said: “We don’t know what the final proposals would have been of course because we have submitted alternative proposals but I was always extremely unhappy with the whole concept of changing the boundaries on a five-year basis.”

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