Metcalfe quizzes Clegg on boundary changes
Date posted: 21-10-2012
SOUTH BASILDON and East Thurrock MP, Stephen Metcalfe rose on the floor of the House of Commons to quiz the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg on his voting intentions towards constituency boundary changes.
Stephen Metcalfe: “In light of my right hon. Friend’s answer that he will vote against any boundary changes, will he confirm that he will, therefore, allow Government Ministers to vote against Government policy?
Nicholas Clegg (Deputy Prime Minister, Lord President of the Council; Sheffield, Hallam, Liberal Democrat)
“As I have said, it is an excellent tribute to both sides of the coalition that, notwithstanding huge pressures to do otherwise, we have religiously stuck to the commitments that we made together to the British people in the coalition agreement.
“On this particular occasion, for reasons I will not rehearse now, one party in the coalition felt unable to deliver one very important part of the constitutional reform agenda—House of Lords reform—so, reasonably enough, the other part of the coalition has reacted accordingly on the issue of boundaries.
“Those are circumscribed circumstances which will not and do not prevent the coalition Government from working very effectively on a broad waterfront of other issues, the most important of which, of course, is cleaning up the economic mess left by that lot on the Opposition Benches.”
Under the present proposals, South Basildon and East Thurrock would lose a vast swathe of Orsett, Horndon-on-the-Hill and Bulphan to Brentwood and Ongar.