Political news

Proposals to shake up parliamentary boundaries submitted to British government

The proposed new boundaries are in pink with the existing constituencies in blue
Michael McHugh, Press Association

Proposals to shake up Northern Ireland's parliamentary boundaries have been submitted to the British government.

The plan to reduce the number of seats from 18 to 17 has proved controversial, with the DUP and Sinn Fein clashing over how the reduction will be achieved.

A review by the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland sets out how seats should be changed.

Sinn Féin has heavily criticised the changes, claiming they would leave at least four constituencies without any nationalist representation at Westminster or assembly level.

The DUP has accused its republican rivals of hyperbole and indulging in sectarian arguments.

It has highlighted that there are already a number of constituencies in Northern Ireland without a nationalist Stormont Assembly member and claimed any move to guarantee such representation would be the very definition of gerrymandering.

The Boundary Commission said: "In line with parliamentary protocol the Commission will not be publishing the Final Recommendations Report until it has been laid in Parliament.

"The timing for laying of the report is a matter for the government and is outside the control of the Boundary Commission."

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