The Telegraph: John Penrose calls for boundary changes to ensure “Everyone’s vote worth the same”

Two former Conservative chairmen, an ex constitution minister, and Sir Graham Brady, the head of the 1922 committee of backbenchers, are among senior party figures calling on the Prime Minister to change the “deeply-flawed” parliamentary constituency boundaries “as fast as possible”.

The reforms were proposed under a process that sees the size and shape of parliamentary boundaries periodically reviewed in order to keep up with changes in population size. 

In a letter to The Sunday Telegraph, six senior Conservatives, led by John Penrose, the former constitution minister, said it was “essential for the health and credibility” of Britain’s democracy to introduce the changes “immediately” – meaning they would be in place for the next election.

The parliamentarians, including Liam Fox and Lord Pickles, the former party chairmen, Iain Duncan Smith, the ex Tory leader, and Damian Green, who was de facto deputy prime minister, state: “We are writing to show our support for fixing the current, deeply-flawed Parliamentary Constituency Boundaries as fast as possible. The existing constituencies vary enormously in size, from some where less than 40,000 voters elect a Westminster MP, to others where it takes 90,000 or more. That means votes in some parts of the country are worth more than twice as much as those in others, which is neither right nor fair.”

The MPs add: “Everyone’s vote should be worth the same, which means Constituencies should be equally sized. The Boundary Commission produced new proposals to right this wrong several years ago. They are ‘oven-ready’, but opposition parties have refused to let it through Parliament until now.  

“Whether the existing proposals are used, or new ones are produced, it is essential for the health and credibility of Britain’s democracy that the current unfairly-skewed system is put right, and equal-sized constituencies where everyone’s vote weighs the same are created immediately.”