Argyll boundary review recommends Lochaber link

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The Boundary Commission for Scotland has published its final recommendations for UK Parliamentary constituencies in Scotland.

As recommended in preliminary reports, Argyll and Bute would incorporate part of Lochaber – with the new area called Argyll, Bute and South West Highlands.

The number of constituencies would fall from 650 to 600. In Scotland this would mean 59 constituencies would be reduced to 53.

The recommended boundary now reaches past Fort William, encompassing Morvern and Ardnamurchan.

Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara has pledged to vote against the Boundary Commission plans to cut Scotland’s elected representatives at Westminster should it come before Parliament.

Mr O’Hara said: ‘This appears to be nothing more than a crude numbers game for the Boundary Commission. In its desire to try and equalise the size of each UK constituency by population, it seems to have taken no notice of the history, geography or topography of this part of Scotland.

‘South of the border, the largest proposed geographic constituency is Brecon, Radnor and Mongomery in Wales, a mere 3,624km2. That’s one third of the geography of the proposed boundary of Argyll Bute and South West Highlands.’

Lord Matthews, deputy chairman of the Boundary Commission for Scotland, said: ‘We listened carefully to comments made on our revised proposals and made a number of changes to boundaries and to constituency names. We believe our final recommendations meet the requirements of the legislation governing the review and within those constraints fairly reflect the views expressed to us during our consultations.’