MP Geoffrey Cox warns against any 'sordid boundary deal'


Devon Conservative MP Geoffrey Cox warns the government not to make any deals with the Liberal Democrats about boundary changes

"These are the zombie proposals. They are the walking dead proposals which will never see the light of day".

This verdict on the Prime Minister's mission to change constituency boundaries - theoretically moved forward by the Boundary Commission last week - has been delivered by a South West MP.

It would seem an obvious analysis to a lot of people.

How can the PM really hope to push this through the Commons against the avowed opposition of the Liberal Democrats?

Basically it's a judgement on Conservative policy you would expect to hear from almost anybody. Except a Tory MP.

This blunt assessment, though, is offered by Geoffrey Cox, Conservative MP for Torridge and West Devon.

It's long been an open secret that a number of Tory backbenchers don't share David Cameron's enthusiasm for redrawing the map. Not least those, like Geoffrey Cox, who would see their own constituencies dismembered or entirely removed.

Geoffrey Cox says he had reconciled himself to the loss of his own seat in principle. But he also reveals he would consider voting against the boundary changes if the government tried to secure them by "sordid trading" with the Liberal Democrats on party funding.

Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps MP told the BBC's Sunday Politics no wheeling and dealing of this kind is taking place. And Nick Clegg insists the Lib Dems will not be bought with "cash for constituencies" anyway.

But if Geoffrey Cox's views are at all representative of his colleagues, the Prime Minister could now face even more of an uphill struggle.

Martyn Oates, Political editor, South West Article written by Martyn Oates Martyn Oates Political editor, South West

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  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    The current boundries favour the left which is to be expected because Mr Blair changed the boundries when he came into power for that purpose. Some of the cities have constituancies that are tiny, it is time for a change.
    There are too many MP's representing too many contituancies, I would half the numbers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    16.Ginger Ferrit Liberals are being economical with the truth

    Of course the left wing dont want to answer about the right of Scottish and welsh mps to dicate terms on England by allowing labour to have majority with the use of devolved areas of uk. Because your hypocrites.

    Explain again the fairness an alliance of losers including SNP and welsh nationalists dictating policy on England

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    Oh i see its fair that

    England cant have vote on an English Parliament. Its fair that labour only gets in power through the help of welsh and scottish mps where they have devolution and basically stich up the predominately right wing England

    Dorset, devon and cornwall are currently the parts of England that IMHO are still English as they are not multicultural with less then 1% minorities

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.


    I'm assuming you've just turned over and started watching this from half-way through, otherwise you'd be aware that this was Nick Clegg growing a backbone through opposing a boundry change. Had the Tory's held up their end of the bargain (yes, even you have to accept that engaging policies requires compromise!) with regards the HoL reform, they could have had their boundry changes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    The labour and liberal parties

    THEY SAY YES TO Devolution WALES and N Ireland and Scotland
    But they wont allow an English Parliament because labour and liberals have no chance in controlling it. And tories were elected throughout the country

    mark me down all you like you hypocrites

    We will also see how right wing England is by the EU vote in 2014

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Him and Nadine Dorries whose constituency would also vanish. What a happy couple!

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    These "Boundary Reforms" are not about being fair to ANYONE but the conservatives. It will reduce the number of libdem MP's, the sole Green MP will lose her seat, no party would gain but the tory party. It is called gerrymandering and should be abandoned.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    10.DrBob - "With the existing boundaries, if Labour lose the popular vote by 5% they will be the biggest party at Westminster. If they lose by 1%, they'll have a majority......"

    You can only claim that if you ignore the actual population firgures for each constituency & instead use the no. of registered voters in each area.......something you cannot remotely claim is democratic.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    With the existing boundaries, if Labour lose the popular vote by 5% they will be the biggest party at Westminster. If they lose by 1%, they'll have a majority. This is clearly undemocratic and should be changed at once. If it is not, and it gives Labour victory, they will stop it happening in the next parliament too.

    If the Liberals stop it, they are not Democrats.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    If Scotland vote for Independance, and the Tories wangle the change of boundaries, god help us all - destined to be ruled by the clueless nasty party forever!

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    5.Adam - "Nick Clegg has got no legitimate reason to oppose the boundary changes....."

    He has every reason to oppose it, regardless of whether you think his state reason is valid.

    The PM tells us this would be fairer, but he spins more than Tony Blair did......the PM's method for counting the population in each area is demonstarably completely & utterly unfit for purpose.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    So Tory MP afraid of disapearing seat rejects Cameron's offer of bribery to Lib Dems.
    Dear, dear how far has this party fallen?!
    The Lib Dems at least had the guts to state that it was either the whole package of constitutional reforms, or nothing and nothing it seems be.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    These boundry changes are Gerry Mandering of the worst kind - the claim is that is it will equalise populations within each constituency, which is fair enough.....

    ....but the PM refuses point blank to base the changes on actual population figures instead using a rough & ready approximation that isbiased in favour of the Tories.....spin, spin & more spin....he;s worse than Tony Blair

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Nick Clegg has got no legitimate reason to oppose the boundary changes. It's an issue I'm not too bothered about but if he thinks they were introduced in the interest of fairness he would vote in favour of them. Now he's showing that they were nothing more than an attempt to buy the support of the Tories on Lords reform (which I strongly oppose).

    Grow up Nick and show some backbone!

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    @3 I agree. Lengthen the Tamar by six miles, blow all the bridges and get a fleet of bulldozers to push cornwall to the Scilly Isles where it belongs. They can't even put the jam and cream on scones properly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    The critical debate should not be about this constituency but simply about whether any constituency should span the Devon/Cornwall boundary. The binding principle should be that Cornwall should be self contained with regard to constituency boundaries. Once this is agreed and the Devon/Cornwall boundary established as sacrosanct other boundary discussions can proceed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Ahh......the same Boundary Commission who understand Devon so well that they thought they could have a morning meeting in Torbay, and an afternoon meeting in Bideford......yes, let's listen to their wise recommendations, ho ho

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Of course they will do a deal and the Lib Dems will swallow any pride they have left and do as they are told



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