HARWICH and North Essex MP Bernard Jenkin has criticised a decision to cut the number of MPs in Parliament.

Bernard Jenkin, who chairs the Constitutional Affairs Committee, told MPs the Government had become "impaled" on their commitment to cut the number of members from 650 to 600.

He claims the moved would cause disruption, increase workloads and increase Government patronage.

During a debate on the Parliamentary Constituencies Bill, which seeks to preserve the current numbers in the Commons, Mr Jenkin said: "I do regret my party has become impaled on this commitment to reduce the number of MPs in the House of Commons because I do not see colleagues from any part of the house hanging around without enough to do.

"I also regret all the more that this reduction will result in a de facto increase in Government patronage relative to the size of the House.

"If we could have a fresh boundary review and keep 650 MPs and get it done in good time for the 2022 general election I would hazard a guess that the majority in this House would settle for that.

"It would help the House to continue to meet the charge of our workload, it would be less disruptive and at least not covertly increase the patronage of Governments in this House."

Proposing the Bill, Manchester Gorton MP Afzal Khan told the Commons the current plan to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600 would add to the presumption politicians are "remote, self interested and unaccountable".

The final recommendations of the 2018 boundary review, which is currently underway, are due to be implemented at the next General Election pending agreement by both Houses of Parliament.