Portsmouth MP accuses Tories of seeking ‘political advantage’ as changes to city constituencies are proposed

Labour's Stephen Morgan, and right, how Portsmouth constituencies would look under the current proposals.
Labour's Stephen Morgan, and right, how Portsmouth constituencies would look under the current proposals.
Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan

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A PORTSMOUTH MP has accused the Conservatives of using proposed boundary changes for their ‘own political advantage’.

Labour’s Stephen Morgan, who represents Portsmouth South, said he agreed constituencies needed to be looked but that it needs to be ‘in the best interests of the country.’

His comments come after the Boundary Commission for England announced updated proposals for constituency boundaries, aimed at making the numbers of voters in each area more equal.

If plans are agreed people in Baffins would be switched from Portsmouth North to Portsmouth South for future general elections.

Purbrook and Stakes would also change from Havant to Portsmouth North, with Meon Valley disappearing and being split among Fareham, Winchester, East Hampshire and Havant.

No changes have been put forward for Gosport.

Current constituency boundaries in the Portsmouth area. Picture: Oliver O'Brien

Current constituency boundaries in the Portsmouth area. Picture: Oliver O'Brien

Mr Morgan said: ‘I’m more than happy to work with colleagues across the House to ensure that a proper boundary review can go ahead in a way that benefits our democracy. Any review must be based on the most up to date register.

‘However, the Tories appear to be preoccupied with their own political advantage rather than what is in the best interests of the country.

‘I’m not interested in whether my party benefits from new constituents, what I care about is that new constituents benefit from my party.’

Analysis from two experts at the University of Plymouth estimated that the Conservatives would have won a Commons majority at this year’s election if the proposed boundary changes had been in place.

Proposed changes to constituency boundaries. Picture: Oliver O'Brien

Proposed changes to constituency boundaries. Picture: Oliver O'Brien

Mr Morgan added: ‘People in Portsmouth, wherever they live, need and deserve a strong voice in Parliament. In Portsmouth South, I’m doing just that, by standing up for their jobs, their security, and their public services.’

Current Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery previously told The News he would be ‘deeply disappointed’ if Meon Valley was split up, but the changes were in the ‘best interests of democracy’.

The constituency - which represents about 71,000 people - was created in 2010 and has been won by the Conservatives in both elections since.

The majority of the area would be included in the Winchester constituency, with Whiteley joining Fareham, and Cowplain, Hart Plain and Waterloo becoming part of Havant.

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery would see his constituency scrapped as part of the proposals. Picture: Conservative Party

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery would see his constituency scrapped as part of the proposals. Picture: Conservative Party

Constitution minister Chris Skidmore said changes were needed to ensure ‘fair and equal representation’ for voters across the UK.

To see an interactive graph of the proposed boundary changes click here.