Mundell welcomes change, but not until 2015

David Mundell celebrates with his family after the result of the election at Dumfries.
David Mundell celebrates with his family after the result of the election at Dumfries.

PROPOSALS to scrap the Westminster constituency of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale and create a new seat of Midlothian and Tweeddale have been met with disappointment by the sitting MP.

Last week, the Boundary Commission for Scotland published its proposals to reduce the number of seats in the House of Commons from 650 to 600.

The commission’s proposal is for the residents in the Scottish Borders Council wards of Tweeddale East and Tweeddale West to be merged with residents in the Midlothian Council area and create a new Parliamentary seat of Midlothian and Tweeddale.

However, the current member for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, Conservative David Mundell – Scotland’s only Tory MP – says he will be disappointed if his constituency is split up ahead of the next general election in 2015.

“This is very much the beginning of a process. I support there being fewer MPs and I support the idea that constituencies should have roughly the same electorate, giving everyone’s vote the same value,” Mr Mundell said.

“The Boundary Commission has come up with its independent report on that basis, and that will now be the basis of consultation which I encourage people to take part in.

“Obviously I would be disappointed if my Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency were to be broken up and split three ways.

“Local people will have opportunities to make their feelings on that known at the public hearings which will be held in November.

“Final decisions on the new boundaries will only be made after the consultation periods come to an end, which will be in 2013. Until then I will continue to represent all of my current constituents to the best of my ability.”

He has held the seat since it was formed for the 2005 General Election.

Meanwhile, Mr Mundell’s boss at the Scottish Office, Secretary of State Michael Moore (Lib Dem) sees his constituency of Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk remain relatively unchanged.