Constituencies will not split

Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson. Pictute: LPhot Ioan Roberts

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A PORTSMOUTH MP has welcomed a government u-turn which will prevent constituencies across region being split.

The government yesterday agreed not to split the Isle of Wight constituency to form a ‘cross Solent’ seat.

The measure could have seen almost a quarter of the island’s 110,000 voters ‘moved’ to form a seat including part of Gosport, or Portsmouth South. It was part of a scheme to ensure UK constituencies had no more than 76,000 voters.

But a campaign led by the island’s Tory MP Andrew Turner resulted in a plan to create two island seats, each of 55,000 voters.

Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock said: ‘It’s excellent news. A new seat would have been bad for constituents and MPs. The island’s voters are very different from those in Gosport and Portsmouth.

‘It would have caused boundaries to be redrawn throughout Hampshire, to match government target figures.’