Stephen Hepburn MP: The war is not over with these boundary changes plan

Even dictators in banana republics would hesitate to rig elections in the way shameless Theresa May is attempting.

Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 4:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 4:47 pm
The House of Lords. Picture by PA

The Tory coup she’s plotting to undermine British democracy by bending a system already favouring the Conservatives into a fixed plaything of her party is scandalous.

Turning a hung Parliament into a Conservative majority of 16 by a vote of Tory MPs and their Northern Ireland DUP accomplices, bought with £1billion of taxpayers’ money, is the arrogance of a Prime Minister playing fast and dangerously loose.

I don’t blame a Boundary Commission following orders but I’ll fight a Tory tinpot tyrant without a principle in her body.

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She’s left her fingerprints all over this scam when proposed new constituencies are based on an old electoral register excluding two million voters in 2017 and probably three times as many never on the count.

This isn’t about culling 50 MPs to cut the cost of politics. Would she be reducing the total from 650 to 600 if the majority were Tory? Of course not.

If we’re to reduce the number of national politicians let’s start with the 800 unelected, unaccountable peers in an undemocratic House of Lords that first David Cameron and then she stuffed with Conservative cronies at the fastest rate in history.

Bias in the House of Commons already favours the Tories when the distribution of votes gives the Conservatives an MP for every 43,000 cast but Labour needed 49,200.

Here on South Tyneside, I applaud councillors and all who successfully defeated proposals to transfer Tyne Dock from South Shields into the Jarrow parliamentary constituency and Boldon Colliery into South Shields.

Unless halted, the Tory Government would still transfer Brockley Whins and the Broseley Estate, Cleadon Village and East Boldon from Jarrow to Shields.

And into Jarrow from Gateshead the areas of Felling, High Fell, Windy Nook and Whitehills.

Communities are collateral damage in her poisonous plan, and as a local MP I’d be sorry to lose in my area people who are friends as well as constituents, though I promise to serve 100% everybody joining the constituency.

But you know as well as I do the Tories are gerrymandering the country in service if the Conservative Party so the discredited bunch can try to cling to power, driving down living standards and ruining the NHS.

Democracy is under sustained attack by the Conservatives when demanding ID to vote is an answer in search of a problem when there is zero evidence of widespread impersonation and electoral fraud.

Just as the 2016 Trade Union Act 2016 was intended to damage Labour funding while leaving the Tories the voice of a rich elite, they want to make it harder for you to vote so you don’t vote.

We aren’t all equal at the ballot box, a fundamental principle of democracy, when the Conservatives are preparing an electoral putsch.

Theresa May is a vicar’s daughter and the sneakiest of Conservative Prime Ministers. We need to stop her before it’s too late.

I’m fighting for democracy. This war isn’t over.