An MP whose seat in the North East could be removed as part of a major shake up of parliamentary constituency boundaries has said he is ‘devastated’ at the proposed changes.

The number of MPs representing the region is set to fall by two after the Boundary Commission for England (BCE) published its final report.

The number of seats in the region will be cut from 29 to 27 under the new proposals that have taken more two years to put together and finalise.

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North Tyneside, North West Durham, Wansbeck and Tony Blair’s former seat in Sedgefield will all cease to exist, while new constituencies will be created elsewhere to reflect population changes.

Sitting North-West Durham MP Richard Holden said: “I am deeply disappointed - and frankly devastated - that the independent Boundary Commission for England accepted the Labour Party’s proposal to split North West Durham four ways, abolishing the seat and displacing me as the local MP.

“Not only have I made North West Durham my home but have campaigned relentlessly for the towns and villages that I have the honour to represent.

“With the help of hard-working local councillors and grassroots campaigners, so much has been achieved."

The Northern Echo: Paul Howell's Sedgefield seat will no longer exist under the changes Paul Howell's Sedgefield seat will no longer exist under the changes (Image: Contributor)

The BCE is under a legal obligation to propose constituencies within five per cent of the electoral quota, meaning the number of registered voters for  each constituency in the country must be between 69,724 and 77,062.

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The final proposals are mostly unchanged from those published in November, with only

some of the constituency names changing in the final draft.

Of all the constituencies in the region, only Hartlepool and Sunderland Central will remain entirely unchanged from their current boundaries.

Secretary to the Boundary Commission Tim Bowden said: “The recommendations we have published today mark the end of a thorough and consultative process to build the new map of Parliamentary constituencies.

“We have taken into account over 60,000 public comments, travelled the country, and heard many passionate views about how best to reflect local community ties in our recommendations.

“We are confident that our final recommendations are the best reflection of the statutory rules Parliament has set us. 

“We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has participated in the 2023 Boundary Review.”

The plans will now go before parliament for approval.


This is how parliamentary constituencies in the North East will be affected:


North of Tyne

The number of constituencies in Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside will drop from nine to eight. Tynemouth will remain similar to its existing form, but Mary Glindon’s existing North Tyneside seat will be abolished.

The constituency’s wards will be split between Tynemouth, Newcastle North as well as two new constituencies – Newcastle East and Wallsend, and Cramlington and Killingworth.

Ian Levy’s Blyth Valley seat will be divided up between the aforementioned Cramlington and Killingworth seat as well as a new Blyth and Ashington seat, which also incorporates the majority of Ian Lavery’s current Wansbeck constituency.

Morpeth would move from the current Wansbeck seat to the new North Northumberland constituency, along with the former Berwick constituency. This was previously named Berwick and Morpeth, but was given a new name after consultation.

The Hexham constituency is set to expand, gaining the villages of Callerton and Throckley as well as Newcastle International Airport. Also included will be the Northumberland ward of Longhorsley along with parts of Ponteland North.

A new Newcastle Central and West seat will be created, including the Arthur’s Hill ward which was controversially shifted to Newcastle East in earlier drafts.

The much-revised Newcastle North seat will take in Benton and Longbenton from North Tyneside, as well as Jesmond and South Gosforth.

Sunderland, Gateshead, South Tyneside, County Durham

The number of constituencies here will fall from 13 to 12. Gateshead is split between four constituencies, three of which have been subject to name changes since the last round of consultation.

These include Gateshead Central and Whickham, – previously set to be called Gateshead and Whickham – Washington and Gateshead South – previously Washington – and Jarrow and Gateshead East – previously Jarrow.

The other constituency in the area will be Blaydon and Consett. South Shields will gain Cleadon and East Boldon.

In Sunderland Houghton and Sunderland South will remain largely the same, as will Sunderland Central. The City of Durham seat would swap the Sunderland wards of Copt Hill, Hetton and Houghton with Brandon, Deerness, Esh and Witton Gilbert, Willington and Hunwick wards from the west of the city.

Tow Law, Weardale and Crook from the current North West Durham seat will be included in the revised Bishop Auckland constituency, with the North West Durham constituency disbanded. This is despite current MP Richard Holden’s row to appeal against the redrawing.

As for the remaining parts of North West Durham; Lanchester is to be included in the North Durham seat, while the Burnopfield and Dipton ward will go into the Blaydon and Consett constituency.

The Easington seat will become slightly larger, while the Segefield seat will be abolished. The town will instead become part of a new Newton Aycliffe and Spennymoor constituency, with some wards being transferred to larger constituencies to the south.

Tees Valley

This part of the region will continue to have seven constituencies – they will be Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Thornaby East, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Redcar, Stockton North and Stockton West.

The Boundary commission had previously said that just six of the North East’s 29 existing constituencies were within the permitted electoral range, with 21 below and just two above.

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