Andrew Turner said:
“The promise to cut the number of Members of Parliament to six hundred has moved on to its next stage. As a result of the cross-party campaign I put together and led in 2010/2011 the Isle of Wight will have two MPs after the next election, and will not share an MP with the mainland.
“As well as working on the Island and in the Commons I also worked with Lord Fowler (now the Lord Speaker) to win this concession in Parliament. We got over 16,000 signatures on an on-line petition, people queued up at the Garlic Festival and elsewhere to sign the back of the Southern Vectis ‘One Wight’ bus and Rapanui kindly printed T-Shirts for the campaigners. Everybody who supported the campaign, including the local media can be proud of what we achieved.
“Instead of the largest constituency in the UK, the Isle of Wight will have two of the smallest. We are the only English constituency given any special protection, the others are Scottish Islands, Orkney and Shetland and the Western Isles (also known as Na h-Eileanan An Iar). The draft proposals have now been published (essentially an East/West divide, with Newport in the West). Although in some ways it is a pity to divide the Island, I am happy with these proposals in principle. People can make representations directly to the Boundary Commission for England either to support or oppose them.
“I will of course be supporting the legislation as these measures move through Parliament.”