Cornwall’s main nationalist party expressed its anger yesterday over the possibility of having a cross Tamar constituency imposed on the people of Cornwall.
At the behest of the UK government, the Boundary Commission has been asked to look at merging existing parliamentary constituencies in an attempt to save money. Under the proposals, the integrity of Cornwall’s political
constituencies, as separate Cornish entities in their own right, could be compromised. The Deputy Leader of Mebyon Kernow – the Party for Cornwall, Andrew Long said:
“…we are extremely angry that the government may force a cross-Tamar constituency on Cornwall. ..MK will fight to ensure that future Cornish constituencies in South East Cornwall will not be compromised through the merger of Cornish communities into a dysfunctional seat comprising parts of Devon.”
The government’s plan to standardise the number of UK voters in a constituency to 75000, thus reducing the number of MP’s to 600 from its current 650, would save £12 million per year according to the Deputy (UK) Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, Nick Clegg. This would also mean that two of Cornwall’s six parliamentary – North Cornwall and East Cornwall – would need to be merged with constitutions in West Devon to make up the numbers. However the current sitting MP’s for North Cornwall and East Cornwall – Dan Rogerson (Liberal Democrat) and Cheryll Murray (Conservative) – have both said that the boundary of the Tamar should remain.
The Secretary of the Kernow branch has written to all the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parliamentary representatives in Cornwall to express his concerns, saying:
“I write to strongly object to any cross border constituencies and firmly believe that all Cornwall’s MP’s should represent Cornwall only and not Devon…
“I am personally committed to organising protests to block the Tamar Bridge with others, should this issue be progressed.”
Only the parliamentary constituencies of Orkney and Shetland and the Western Isles in Scotland, will be unaffected by the changes, because they are seen to be `uniquely placed’.
This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:
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