Dorries ‘delighted’ at return of Mid Beds seat

A new set of proposed boundaries for parliamentary constituencies have been revealed today (Tuesday), and there are a few surprises.

Initial proposals published last autumn saw the Mid Beds constituency – home to Toddington, Harlington, Barton and Streatley – scrapped.

But the new proposals include a Mid Beds and Harpenden seat, stretching from just below Biggleswade in the north to Harpenden in the south, and taking in Barton, Upper and Lower Sundon, Caddington and Kensworth, Silsoe, Lilley, Offley, Wheathampstead and Kimpton.

The proposed new constituencies of Luton North and Dunstable, and Luton South, have not changed.

But the South West Bedfordshire constituency would now no longer include Barton, and has been stretched northwards to include Cranfield and Marston Moretaine.

The Boundary Commission wants to reduce the number of serving MPs in England from 650 to 600, and is running an eight-week consultation on the proposals before publishing its final set in 2013.

Miss Dorries said: “Mid Beds is back and I’m delighted, although it was never going to happen as the Lib Dems have withdrawn their support.

“There won’t be a vote until next year and a year is a long time in parliament, but I think we will be going into the 2015 election with the status quo.”

The current Harpenden and Hitchin constituency is held by Peter Lilley, who will be 71 at the next general election.

Under existing rules both Mr Lilley and Miss Dorries would be able to apply to run for the seat.

Miss Dorries said that although the changes no longer had Lib Dem support, they would be one of the “first things” a Conservative majority would want to vote on should they win the next general election.

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