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Labour Leader Could Lose Seat In Political Shake-Up

(AFP) – The embattled leader of Britain’s Labour party could lose his parliamentary seat in a shake-up set to reduce the number of lawmakers, according to plans unveiled on Tuesday.

The possible impact on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s political career comes as part of wider plans to redraw the maps of political constituencies.

Proposals published by the Boundary Commission for England are intended to reduce the number of MPs to 600 from 650 and create a more balanced number of voters in each area.

The changes could mean a significant shift for Corbyn, who has represented his London constituency of Islington North since 1983.

Under the proposals the area overseen by the Labour leader would be divided through the creation of two new voting areas — Islington, and Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington.

Corbyn said he was “very unhappy” about the suggested size of a new constituency.

“I look forward to representing some parts of Islington,” he said on arrival at a dinner with unionists on Monday evening.

The plans also potentially pit Corbyn against two of his key allies in his shadow cabinet — Diane Abbott and Emily Thornberry — who represent neighbouring constituencies.

Corbyn is currently facing a leadership challenge mounted after the resignation of around 20 members of his shadow cabinet, and a no confidence vote in which 172 out of Labour’s 230 MPs voted against the party leader.

Despite widespread discontent among Labour lawmakers, Corbyn is expected to win the challenge by MP Owen Smith when results are announced at the party’s annual conference on September 24.

Labour has said it will fight the proposed boundary changes, complaining the proposals unfairly favour the ruling Conservative Party.

Publication of the Boundary Commission proposals will be followed by three consultation periods before the end of next year, with final recommendations due to be made the parliament in September 2018.

If approved by parliament, the new constituencies are intended to be rolled out in time for the general election scheduled for 2020.

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