Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington North seat could be abolished, report confirms
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A report has recommended Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington North constituency seat be abolished.
The Boundary Commission for England this morning proposed a new Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington seat.
This would include Finsbury Park, Highbury East, Highbury West, Hillrise and Tollington – five wards in Mr Corbyn’s exisiting constituency – and five wards from close ally Diane Abbott’s neighbouring Hackney North and Stoke Newington seat.
Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn’s St George’s and Junction wards will be transferred to the Holborn and St Pancras constituency.
Islington North has existed since 1885, and Labour Party leader Mr Corbyn has held the seat since 1983. The Gazette has approached him for comment, though he was said last night to be “very unhappy” about the changes.
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Emily Thornberry’s Islington South and Finsbury seat, meanwhile, would be renamed “Islington”. It would include all eight of its existing wards but also incorporate Mildmay from Islington North. She has also been contacted for comment.
The commission has been tasked by Parliament to create equal-sized seats by reducing the number of constituencies from 650 to 600. Under the proposals, each seat would have between 71,031 and 78,507 electors.
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The report, released at midnight, said: “We noted that the borough of Islington was too small to have two constituencies contained wholly within the local authority boundaries. Therefore, in formulating a pattern of constituencies, it was necessary to include wards from both boroughs in constituencies with wards from neighbouring boroughs.”
Mr Corbyn would potentially be pitted against two of his closest allies, Mrs Thornberry and Ms Abbott, for selection as candidates for the new seats of Islington and Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington.
Sources close to Mr Corbyn dismissed suggestions that he would lose his home base under the changes. They said there was “every reason to believe Jeremy will still have a seat to contest” as 60 per cent of the new Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington constituency is made up of areas currently in Islington North.
The commission is now holding a public consultation on the plans until December 5.
Additional reporting by Press Association