Norman Baker’s interpretation of the background to the Boundary Commission proposals is open to question when he states (Sussex Express, October 19, p4) that he will not be supporting the boundary changes because the Conservatives ‘broke the coalition contract by not voting for Lords Reform’. This implies a link between the two policies which has in fact never existed. Reform of the Upper House is of course in the original coalition agreement, but the only policy to be linked with the boundaries review is the referendum on proportional representation. They were jointly agreed in the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 and, if we are talking about broken contracts, the referendum which the LibDems wanted was held in May last year yet they have now decided not to support the boundary changes.
It is perfectly understandable that Norman Baker objects to the proposed new boundaries because his parliamentary seat would disappear and it would be much more difficult for him to secure re-election to the House of Commons at the next election. But to link his objection to the lack of progress so far on Lords reform is disingenuous.