Barking and Dagenham MPs dismiss constituencies shake up plan
PUBLISHED: 10:10 13 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:55 13 September 2018
The borough's MPs have slammed a proposed shake up of constituencies.
The Boundary Commission – which groups voters into areas for national elections – revealed its final plans on Monday.
They would see Barking and Dagenham voters divided among three areas: Barking and Beckton, Dagenham and Rainham, and Romford.
The first would see the Barking constituency lose Alibon and Valence wards while gaining Beckton and the Royal Docks in neighbouring Newham to create an area of 73,046 voters.
The Dagenham and Rainham constituency gains Alibon and Valence wards along with Elm Park, South Hornchurch, and Rainham and Wennington from Havering with 73,863 voters. Chadwell Heath would join the Romford constituency currently represented by Conservative MP Andrew Rosindell.
Under current arrangements Labour MPs Dame Margaret Hodge and Jon Cruddas represent the existing Barking, and Dagenham and Rainham constituencies respectively.
Dame Margaret said: “There is opposition to these plans on both sides of the House. The government thought these plans would pass through the Commons easily. I doubt that will happen.
“Reducing the number of MPs will weaken the Commons. The government could get away with all kinds of tricks if there aren’t enough MPs to properly scrutinise how we leave the EU.”
Jon Cruddas said: “The revised boundary proposals mean that instead of Eastbrook going over to Romford, Dagenham and Rainham will be losing Chadwell Heath ward. I made representations during the consultation period to try and avert the changes but it seems the Boundary Commission has ignored them.
“Whilst the final proposals take consideration of some of the official Labour recommendations, the Conservative Party seems to be tearing itself apart at the moment so they won’t be able to get the changes pushed through.”
The government must now decide if or when the plans will go to the Houses of Parliament for politicians to decide if the new groupings will be used at the next general election.
The former Conservative prime minister David Cameron ordered the review in 2011 to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 and create roughly equal constituencies.
The Conservative Party was approached for comment.