Wales politics

Parliament boundaries: Plan to cut Welsh MPs hit by vote

House of Lords
Image caption The House of Lords voted to delay the review of parliamentary constituency boundaries

UK government plans to cut the number of Welsh MPs by a quarter have been hit after the House of Lords voted to delay a review constituency boundaries.

The vote is seen as a severe setback for coalition attempts to cut MPs by 50 overall, and by 10 in Wales.

The government lost by 69 votes after Liberal Democrat ministers voted against their Conservative partners.

The vote delays the review of parliamentary boundaries until after the next general election.

BBC Wales parliamentary correspondent David Cornock said there was speculation that the review could have helped give the Conservatives 20 seats at the next election, but both Plaid Cymru and the SNP appeared reluctant to reach a deal with the government.

Conservative Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies said the result would put "the cat among the pigeons".

Ministers could try to overturn the vote in the House of Commons.

But Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said Lib Dem MPs will vote against boundary changes.

If approved, the changes it would mean the end of historic county constituencies such as Anglesey and Montgomeryshire.

Boundary Commission proposals to cut Wales' 40 MPs to 30 hail the biggest change in the political map since 1944.

The changes, approved in principle by Parliament last year, would see England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland lose 31, seven, 10 and two seats respectively.

More on this story