October 17, 2017 / 9:27 AM / 9 months ago

Labour leader and other UK lawmakers could lose seats in cost cutting plan

LONDON (Reuters) - The leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, and other politicians could lose their seats if proposals to “cut the cost of politics” go ahead, a report suggested on Tuesday.

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn acknowledges his audience prior to giving his keynote speech at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton, Britain, September 27, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Files

Under former prime minister David Cameron, the governing Conservative Party pledged to reduce the number of lawmakers from 650 to 600 to make cost savings after criticism of expense claims made by those working in parliament.

The independent boundary commission has made proposals to make sure most electoral districts in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are roughly equal in the number of voters, meaning certain seats, like Corbyn’s, are set to be abolished.

But it is not clear whether parliament will back the plan, which is not due to take effect until 2022.

Since losing the Conservatives’ parliamentary majority at an election in June, Prime Minister Theresa May is dependent on the support of a small Northern Irish party, the Democratic Unionist Party, which has opposed any changes in earlier votes.

Labour has also said it would vote against the measures, accusing the Conservatives of using the review to pursue “their own political advantage”.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper said if the changes had been in place before the June election, May’s Conservatives would have won a majority.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Michael Holden

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