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Moray faces being split into three by Boundary Commission

By Alistair Whitfield

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Dramatic proposals by the Boundary Commission to divide the current Moray seat at Westminster between three new constituencies are being opposed by both Douglas Ross and Richard Lochhead.

Both Elgin and Forres will become part of a new constituency called Highland East and Elgin.

Highland East and Elgin
Highland East and Elgin

Keith, Cullen and Buckie would become part of the Banff and Buchan constituency.

Aberlour, Dufftown, Rothes and Tomintoul will all come under Gordon and Moray South.

Scotland is set to have its number of MPs reduced from 59 to 57 in the constituency shake-up across the UK.

The Boundary Commission, which in an independent body, says its aim is to better balance the numbers of people in each constituency.

Moray's MP Douglas Ross has already said he would not fight the seat again as he is now also a MSP.

However he has come out strongly against the proposals.

Mr Ross said: "As the current MP I can’t support the proposals to carve-up the Moray constituency.

"It has been a huge honour to represent my home area as the local MP, but under these proposals many historic local links would be lost and Moray’s identity diluted.

"The current seat works well as all the electors are within the Moray Council area and are represented by a single MP.

"Under these plans the same area would be represented by three MPs who would also be dealing with Highland or Aberdeenshire areas

Gordon and South Moray
Gordon and South Moray

"The Boundary Commission need to go back to the drawing board and re-think these plans.

"I will be opposing them as I strongly believe the present Moray seat is best option for the area and local residents.

"I know the Boundary Commission have a difficult job, but I hope they will look again at their proposals and see that the correct decision is to maintain this long-standing seat."

The Boundary Commission review is the start of an eight-week consultation.

Each constituency contain no less than 69,724 voters, and no more than 77,062, with the exception of the two ‘protected’ constituencies of the Western Isles and Orkney and Shetland.

Banff and Buchan
Banff and Buchan

Mr Lochhead said: "I’m somewhat surprised and concerned to see that, as part of the Boundary Commission’s proposed boundary changes, the Moray Westminster seat would effectively disappear.

"Moray has been a long-standing constituency at Westminster and represents communities that share a great deal in common, as well as being its own local authority area.

"To split the constituency into three parts and stick our communities onto the end of seats in Highland and Aberdeenshire will make little sense to Moray voters and I cannot see how it would benefit our local communities."

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