THE NORTH-East is set to lose four MPs in a shake-up of the UK’s electoral map, it has been conformed.

Following several rounds of consultation, the Boundary Commission for England has now made its final recommendation on how to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600.

Fifteen of the existing constituencies in the North-East would be abolished , including ones in County Durham and Teesside, while 11 new ones would be created - leaving the region with 25 MPs.

North Yorkshire would retain eight constituencies with minor changes.

One of the most controversial proposals is to split the existing City of Durham constituency five-ways, with part of the city joined with Easington.

The commission acknowledged “significant opposition” to the plan but said alternative proposals put forward during the consultation were not an improvement.

Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods said: “It just doesn’t make sense to split a small city in this way, especially one that has the historic significance of Durham City. These plans simply ignore the strong history of shared governance and community ties throughout the existing constituency, and from a county perspective it is completely illogical to have its capital divided up in this way.”

There was also opposition to Framwellgate and Newton Hall, in the north of the city, becoming part of North Durham.

Other changes would see the Darlington constituency would spread out from the town to areas such as Denton, Heighington, Bishopton and Middleton St George.

A neighbouring Billingham and Sedgefield constituency would be created.

Billingham’s move would be part of a shake-up on Teesside that would see five constituencies become four and both Stockton North and Stockton South abolished.

The changes, which would mean every constituency has between 71,031 and 78,507 voters, have prompted criticism from Labour MPs after research showed they would have turned the hung parliament of the 2017 election into a safe Conservative majority,

Stockton North’s Alex Cunningham, said: “If ever implemented, will damage democracy and result in fewer MPs for the North-East which needs more voices to get the region a better deal.

“The proposals for Teesside tear apart established local communities with the Stockton Borough split over three constituencies. Assuming there is a vote on the matter in a few months time, I will vote against and press for 650 equal sized constituencies - two covering the Stockton Borough.”

Bishop Auckland MP Helen Goodman said: “The government is wrong to want to cut the number of MPs- already Bishop Auckland constituency stretches from Spennymoor to the middle of the Pennines. To serve our constituents properly we must be able to know people individually.”

Her constituency would remain largely unchanged, though it would include the ward of Willington and Hunwick, after initial proposals to split Barnard Castle in two were dropped prior to the last round of consultation.

It is now up to the Government to present the changes to Parliament.

Commission secretary Sam Hartley said, “We’re confident the map we propose today is the best match of the legal rules Parliament has set us. It’s now up to Parliament to decide whether these boundaries will be used at the next general election.”


Abolished/ended in current form:

Berwick-upon-Tweed, Anne-Marie Trevelyan (C)

Blyth Valley, Ronnie Campbell (Lab)

Durham, City of, Roberta Blackman-Woods (Lab)

Easington, Grahame Morris (Lab)

Hexham, Guy Opperman (C)

Houghton and Sunderland South, Bridget Phillipson (Lab)

Middlesbrough, Andy McDonald (Lab)

Middlesbrough South and Cleveland East, Simon Clarke (C)

Newcastle upon Tyne Central, Chi Onwurah (Lab)

Newcastle upon Tyne North, Catherine McKinnell (Lab)

Redcar, Anna Turley (Lab Co-op)

Sedgefield, Phil Wilson (Lab)

Stockton North, Alex Cunningham (Lab)

Stockton South, Paul Williams (Lab)

Wansbeck, Ian Lavery (Lab)


Berwick and Morpeth

Billingham and Sedgefield

Blyth and Ashington

City of Durham and Easington

Hexham and Cramlington

Houghton and Seaham

Middlesbrough and Eston

Middlesbrough South and Thornaby

Newcastle upon Tyne North West

Redcar and East Cleveland

Stockton and Yarm