Isabel Hardman

Number 10 ‘can square’ boundary reform losers

Number 10 'can square' boundary reform losers
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Number 10 believes it will be able to ‘square’ all Tory MPs whose constituencies will be abolished or merged as part of the boundary changes, Coffee House understands.

I hear from a very well-informed source that Downing Street, which is leading the work on the changes to constituency boundaries, believes that the number of Tories affected by the reduction in the number of seats from 650 to 600 is so small that they can either be accommodated with another seat where the sitting MP is likely to retire at the next election, or moved into the House of Lords.

The Times reported at the weekend that Tory MPs are being summoned into meetings to find out whether their constituency is likely disappear in the reforms. The Boundary Commission is not due to recommend the new official boundaries until October 2018, but Number 10 has a good idea of what those new seats will look like, good enough at least to start the conversations with the MPs.

Whether all those MPs will remain ‘squared’ until the vote enabling those changes is another matter, of course. You never know who you might cheese off over the next couple of years.