Like many of the changes proposed by the coalition, it seems the proposed cull of MPs in the Commons will be an underwhelming and missed opportunity to radically change how the UK is Governed.
Calculations suggest the capital will lose just 5 MPs, retaining 68 of its current 73 seat allocation – more than 11% of the seats in the reformed Parliament.
Despite having a directly elected executive Mayor to speak up for it, the capital will tie the North west for the English region with the largest number of MPs.
What do we need them all for?
Obviously it’s important that London has a voice and input into legislation which affects its residents but does it need quite so many voices pocketing taxpayer money to sit on the green benches?
Could we not get by quite happily with a smaller number of MPs – say 34 – speaking for the capital on the floor of the chamber and allow City Hall – ideally both the Mayor and Assembly – a statutory consultation role in any legislation which directly affected Londoners?
Unlike MPs, the Mayor and Assembly Members aren’t ruled by Westminster’s whip system, their scrutiny of new laws wouldn’t be influenced by the desire for promotion or favours.
This isn’t as revolutionary as it might first sound.
With just the tiniest amount of Parliamentary time and a fairly small add-on to the localism bill, these exchanges of views could have been set on a statutory footing.
As with the failure to hand the NHS in London to City Hall, passing up the chance offered by the boundary review to re-examine how the capital interfaces with national government is a missed opportunity from a coalition which is nowhere near as radical as it claims to be.