Sports minister Hugh Robertson's Faversham and Mid Kent constituency safe as Boundary Commission shake-up ditched
by political editor Paul
Plans to abolish one of Kent's parliamentary constituencies
before the next election have been ditched - for the time
The Boundary Commission had proposed the Faversham and Mid
Kent seat, currently held by the sports minister Hugh Robertson,
should disappear as part of the government's commitment to cut the
number of MPs.
But Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs joined forces to defeat the
Conservatives in a House of Commons vote yesterday.
It means the planned constituency shake-up will be postponed
until 2018 at the earliest.
The vote also means that other more marginal changes to
other Kent seats
will not now happen. These would have affected the two Thanet seats
the Medway seats, as well as Tonbridge and Malling.
However, the House of Commons' rejection of the review means
go to the polls in 2015 with all Kent seats the same as they were
Gary Cooke, the chairman of the Mid Kent and Faversham
association, said he welcomed the fact that the uncertainty about
the shake-up had ended.
"It was what was expected but I do believe that in the longer
term, we have to reform the House of Commons because it is
ridiculous that we have some MPs who represent 30,000 constituents
and others representing 125,000."
He added: "As party chairman, I very much hope that we have Hugh
Robertson as our constituency MP up to and beyond the next
election. We are very fortunate to have such an excellent MP and I
am pleased we now have clarity on this."
The constituency was formed in 1997, when the previous Faversham
seat was abolished and split into Sittingbourne and Sheppey and the
Faversham, which was then merged with Mid Kent.
The original proposals set out by the Boundary Commission
could have helped the Conservatives win an extra 20 seats at the
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