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Fresh headache for UK Labour chief in constituency shake-up

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London, United Kingdom: Jeremy Corbyn, the embattled leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour party, could be forced to find a new parliamentary seat under plans unveiled Tuesday to reduce the number of lawmakers.

Corbyn’s constituency in north London is one of 50 House of Commons seats which would be abolished under proposals from the independent Boundary Commission for England. There are currently 650 seats.

While the move is unlikely to end to Corbyn’s political career, it would pitch him into a distracting battle for a new seat.

More broadly, the changes, if accepted, would make it harder for Labour — which is expected to lose some 25 seats — to take power, and easier for Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives to stay in office.

As well as reducing the number of MPs, the review aims to balance out the size of constituencies, which have been altered by demographic change over the years, to an average of 74,769.

Corbyn said he was “very unhappy” about the suggested size of a new constituency. His party has said it will fight the proposed changes.

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

Corbyn is currently facing a leadership challenge which emerged 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 him.

Despite widespread discontent among Labour lawmakers, Corbyn is expected to win the challenge by MP Owen Smith when results are announced on September 24, thanks to strong grassroots support.

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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