A DEFEAT for Government plans which would have redrawn parliamentary constituencies for the 2015 general election has been welcomed as common sense by a North East MP.
The Conservatives’ proposed changes – which would have reduced the number of MPs by 50 – were defeated last month when the Liberal Democrats voted against their coalition partners in the House of Commons.
The proposed reforms would equalise the size of Westminster constituencies, and were widely seen as being beneficial to the Tories’ general election chances.
They would also have redrawn existing constituency boundaries, including Wansbeck in Northumberland.
Under the original proposals, Morpeth and Pegswood, together with large wards in Ashington, Choppington, Guide Post and Longhirst, would switch to the Berwick constituency.
Following the Commons vote, any redrawing of constituencies will be postponed at least for the next five years.
Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery said: “The proposed redrawn boundary would even have divided an Ashington High School annexe from the main school.
“While I have nothing but respect for my parliamentary colleague Sir Alan Beith, I failed to see how he could have better represented the Wansbeck constituents than someone living and working on their doorsteps.”