My honourable friend the Minister of State for Northern Ireland (Paul Goggins) has made the following Ministerial Statement.
The Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986, as amended by the Boundary Commissions Act 1992, requires that the Parliamentary Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland undertakes periodic reviews of constituencies in Northern Ireland. The commission is required to submit a report to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland not less than eight or more than 12 years from its last report. The report was submitted to the Secretary of State on 14 September 2007. The previous report was submitted in October 1995.
I am pleased to announce that the fifth periodic report on parliamentary constituencies has been laid before Parliament today with a copy of the Draft Parliamentary Constituencies (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 to give effect to the recommendations of the report without modification. The recommendations of the commission are that 18 constituencies should be retained for Northern Ireland with revisions made to the boundaries of the 12 constituencies of Belfast East, Belfast North, Belfast South, Belfast West, East Antrim, East Londonderry, Foyle, Lagan Valley, North Antrim, South Antrim, South Down and Strangford.
Copies are available in the Library.