MSP slams proposed constituency changes

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Kate Forbes.
Kate Forbes.

THE CONSTITUENCY MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch has called plans to reduce the number of Highland MPs the ‘height of hypocrisy’.

Under the proposals from the Boundary Commission, four seats would cover the Highlands and West Coast, down from five at present, with one seat stretching from Inverness to Skye, another covering most of Caithness and Sutherland, a third covering Argyll, Bute and Lochaber, and the fourth Moray and Nairn.

Ms Forbes said the proposal was ‘the height of hypocrisy for the number of representatives in the democratically-elected House of Commons to be reduced while expanding the un-elected House of Lords’.

She continued saying: ‘The key issue here is democratic accountability and accessibility.

‘The proposed boundary changes don’t take into account the vast areas that politicians have to cover and the diverse nature of communities within our constituencies. In the end, it will be Highland constituents who miss out.

‘While the Scottish Government is seeking greater powers for rural communities with its progressive Islands Bill, the Westminster government is taking retrograde steps by reducing the number of MPs in the Highlands from five to four.’