Constituencies shake up comes under fire from Newham’s MPs

PUBLISHED: 10:24 13 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:20 13 September 2018

West Ham MP Lyn Brown and East Ham MP Stephen Timms. Pic: Lyn Brown/Martyn Milner

West Ham MP Lyn Brown and East Ham MP Stephen Timms. Pic: Lyn Brown/Martyn Milner


The borough’s MPs have slammed a proposed shake up of the borough’s constituencies.

How the East Ham constituency would look. Pic: ONSHow the East Ham constituency would look. Pic: ONS

The Boundary Commission – which groups voters into areas for national elections – revealed plans to redraw voter areas on Monday.

They would see the borough divided among four constituencies: East Ham, Leyton and Stratford, Barking and Beckton, and Poplar and Canning Town.

How the Poplar and Canning Town constituency would look. Pic: ONSHow the Poplar and Canning Town constituency would look. Pic: ONS

The first combining Boleyn, East Ham, Green Street, Little Ilford, Wall End and Manor Park would create a constituency of 78,146 voters.

Leyton and Stratford would see Forest Gate, West Ham and Stratford join five areas in Waltham Forest with 74,379 voters. 
Poplar and Canning Town would be 78,073 voters strong and combine Plaistow, Canning Town and Custom House with six wards in Tower Hamlets.

How the Leyton and Stratford constituency would look. Pic: ONSHow the Leyton and Stratford constituency would look. Pic: ONS

The fourth constituency would see Beckton and Royal Docks wards coupled with wards in Barking and Dagenham and total 73,046 voters.

Under current arrangements Labour MPs Stephen Timms and Lyn Brown represent the existing East Ham and West Ham constituencies respectively.

Critics allege that had the changes been in place at the last general election the Conservatives would have won a majority of seats in Parliament prompting Labour to describe the proposals as a Tory power grab.

Lyn Brown told the Recorder: “I don’t see this going through. I don’t believe the prime minister is going to last till Christmas.

“This is a distraction from [Theresa May’s] current woes.”

Ms Brown added it was unlikely Mrs May’s own MPs would vote for it.

How the Barking and Beckton constituency would look. Pic: ONSHow the Barking and Beckton constituency would look. Pic: ONS

“This country needs a new government delivering for the many and not the few. It doesn’t need fewer MPs,” she said.

Stephen Timms said the Commission’s review was intended to increase representation for the Conservatives.

He said that voter numbers were based on out of date figures which didn’t account for the large number of people who registered to vote after the EU referendum.

And a limit that constituencies had to be five percent above or below an average number of voters per seat failed to account for communities.

“If you live in Britannia Village you don’t feel an affinity with Barking and Dagenham because you’re part of Newham,” he said.

It was clear that MPs wouldn’t be asked to vote on the changes until after the UK leaves the EU in March next year, he suggested.

“There could well be a general election before then given the difficulties [the Conservatives] are running into,” he added.

Commission secretary Sam Hartley said: “The recommendations we’ve published mark the end of a thorough process.”

The government now decides when or if the plans will go to the Houses of Parliament for politicians to decide if the new groupings will be used at the next general election.

The former Conservative prime minister David Cameron ordered the review in 2011 to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 and create roughly equal constituencies.

The Conservative Party was approached for comment.

Latest Newham Stories

38 minutes ago

Wadi Camacho upset the odds to claim the biggest win of his career at York Hall as he took the Commonwealth cruiserweight belt.


Wapping’s men and women celebrated hard-fought wins in their latest East League outings at the weekend.

A chance to win a perfect book for West Ham fans just in time for Christmas

Football League

The big Hammers striker played 45 minutes in a friendly at Brentford and is looking for a place on the bench for Saturday

Andy Carroll

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff has heaped praise on forward duo Macaulay Bonne and Josh Koroma after the pair both netted in their 3-1 win against Bromley.

Josh Koroma
38 minutes ago

The cousin of a mother-of-two missing from Canning Town has appealed for information six months after her disappearance.

custom house

A woman from East Ham who was famously sentenced to the death penalty in the 1920s is to be reburied in her family grave.

Home Office

Staff on the Central line are set to walk out for 24 hours the weekend before Christmas.


Have you spent time as an unpaid carer? If you are over the age of 25 and living in Newham, the Working for Carers scheme can help you take the first steps back to employment.

Hanson Fernandes’ journey began in 2015 when he arrived in London from Goa, India.

Newsletter Sign Up

Newham Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now