Borders constituency to increase in size

MP Calum Kerr visited St Abbs lifeboat station during the tour of his  Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency
MP Calum Kerr visited St Abbs lifeboat station during the tour of his Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency

Plans to cut the number of Scottish seats at Westminster from 50 to 53 will leave the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk seat almost unchanged.

The only change to its boundary is in the west of the constituency, where the town of Innerleithen moves into the Borders seat from the current Dumfries, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency to give the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP an electorate of 74,428.

The East Lothian seat remains as it is, with an electorate of 76,153.

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MP Calum Kerr (SNP) will have one of the largest constituencies geographically, only the Highlands, plus Inverness & Skye constituencies covering more terrain than the two south of Scotland seats of Dumfries and Galloway, and Berwickshire, Roxburgh, Selkirk.

Mr Kerr said: ‘My main response to these recommendations is to welcome the fact that I wouldn’t lose any of my current constituents if these changes do come through and I would of course look forward the opportunity to represent additional communities in the Scottish Borders.

“However, I don’t think now is the time to be reducing the overall number of MPs in the House of Commons. With the likely need for extra scrutiny off the back of the many changes that Brexit will bring and the powers that it will see repatriated, we need Parliament to be at its best, not fretting about who will lose out from this process.

“These changes don’t go far enough if we really want to see a better democracy, that’s more representative and more responsive to the needs of ordinary people. Rather than fixating on the number of MPs we should be looking at a fairer electoral system and of course, reforming the unelected House of Lords.”

The plans drawn up by the Boundary Commission involve reducing the number of MPs in the House of Commons from 650 to 600, and will now go out to public consultation.