THE future of two Bolton MPs remains in doubt after proposed changes to their constituency boundaries moved a step closer.

Under new proposals, the Boundary Commission is pressing ahead with plans to abolish Yasmin Qureshi's Bolton South East seat.

Conservative MP Chris Green called for a 'fundamental rewrite' of the plans, which contain a small but significant change that could leave him facing a fight to hold on to his marginal Bolton West constituency.

A new Farnworth and Radcliffe constituency would replace Bolton South East and be made up of the Bolton wards of Farnworth, Harper Green, Hulton, Kearsley and Little Lever and Darcy Lever, as well as Radcliffe North, West, and East.

The plans have been amended from suggestions published a year ago that would have split Radcliffe between two constituencies.

Rumworth and Great Lever would move to the Bolton North East constituency, while that constituency would lose Halliwell to Bolton West.

Under Labour Party rules, Ms Qureshi will have the right to seek election in Farnworth and Radcliffe if she chooses to, as it contains more than 40 per cent of her previous constituency.

She opposed the break-up of her existing wards, stating that residents of Rumworth and Great Lever ‘have relatives and families who have gone out into Harper Green, Farnworth and even parts of Kearsley’.

The commission's proposal to take the strong Labour ward of Halliwell to Bolton West would spell trouble for Mr Green, who has a majority of just 936.

He said: "I think there are a variety of common-sense options that could be done in designing a new Bolton West constituency. But, unfortunately, the rules set out in terms of the size of the constituencies are quite poorly thought out.

"They restrict the size and therefore the nature of the constituency, which means it may not represent areas of common interest.

"A Member of Parliament needs to speak with a voice that reflects the entire constituency and sometimes the Boundary Commission puts forward proposals that don't reflect local concerns.

"There were some very peculiar suggestions in the last iteration and, from what I have seen, I think this needs a fundamental rewrite. It seems perverse that, when more people are going into the House of Lords, we should be cutting the size of the Commons.

"With a growing population, it will mean that MPs will be further removed from their constituents."

Sir David Crausby, who has represented Bolton North East since 1997, is not worried by the loss of the Halliwell ward, as he would gain Rumworth and Great Lever — two safe Labour areas — from Bolton South East.

He said: "I think it makes sense. I said that I thought the division of the Radcliffe wards was wrong and it makes absolute sense to bring those three wards together again.

"I lose Halliwell, which is probably the safest Labour ward in my constituency — it is usually worth at least 3,000 votes on my majority.

"But I gain Rumworth and Great Lever, which are similar, so I can't complain.

"What it does do is make Bolton West a very winnable seat for Labour."

During the consultation, The Conservative Party had submitted a counter-proposal that would recreate the Bolton South East constituency, including the Atherton ward, and bring Astley Bridge into Bolton West.

The boundary review is being undertaken to reduce the the number of constituencies in the UK to 600 from 650, and to ensure that the number of voters in each constituency is equal.

An initial 12-week consultation was held in the autumn last year, and comments on the latest plans can now be made at until December 11.

Final recommendations will be made to Parliament in September, 2018 and the new constituencies are planned to be in use at the next scheduled General Election in 2022.