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New boundary proposals amount to gerrymandering - Molloy

17 January, 2018 - by Francie Molloy

Any move by the British to renege on proposed electoral boundary changes represents gerrymandering to placate the DUP, Sinn Féin MP Francie Molloy has said.

The Mid Ulster MP was responding to media reports that proposals announced in 2016 to redraw Westminster constituencies are to be radically altered.

“The Boundary Commission proposed and consulted on new electoral boundaries in 2016 as part of an overall plan to reduce the number of MPs here from 18 to 17,” Molloy said.

“Unsurprisingly, the DUP rejected the plan despite the fact that the proposals reflected the terms and remit under which the Boundary Commission was established. 

“Sinn Féin warned at the time that any attempt via the Tory-DUP pact to subvert this process would represent an anti-democratic attempt to gerrymander electoral boundaries in that party’s favour. 

“These new proposals will also impact upon electoral boundaries for Assembly elections, ensuring gerrymandered constituencies reminiscent of those drawn up by the unionist one-party state decades ago.

“The Boundary Commission should immediately clarify whether the media reports of the amended proposals are accurate because, if they are, it would mean that the Tories have again acquiesced to the DUP’s anti-democratic agenda, just as they have done on issues such as equal marriage, the Irish Language and legacy inquests.

“That is entirely unacceptable and further evidence of the British Government’s ongoing refusal to act in an impartial manner as they are obliged to under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.”

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