Under the proposed new constituencies, Northern Ireland’s overall seats will be reduced from 18 to 17, however, Belfast is set to retain its four seats, a move South Antrim MLA Mr Ford said was not sustainable or practical.
“The original proposals in 2016 included three constituencies for Belfast, which is now entitled to fewer than three seats within the city boundary. Now the plans show four seats for the city. This means the boundaries of the four Belfast city constituencies would extend well beyond the city and far into the countryside.
“To sustain those four seats, the proposals see a seat lost elsewhere and therefore the likes of Newtownards and Banbridge end up in the same proposed constituency. That is just bizarre.
“This is not an issue of political bias but maintaining social links and not disrupting the established patterns of communities across Northern Ireland.”