A BOLTON MP and a children’s poverty charity say they are deeply concerned by increases in child poverty in Bolton.

New figures released by the Action for Children charity reveal a worrying upward trend of child poverty throughout the United Kingdom.

Bolton South East MP, Yasmin Qureshi, has raised her concerns at this, with her constituency having one of the highest poverty rates in the north west.

The research carried out by Loughborough University for the End Child Poverty Coalition shows that the North West of England has seen child poverty rates increase over the past five years, fuelled by stagnating family incomes.

Almost a third of children in the North West are growing up in poverty as the rates rise.

As a borough, Bolton’s child poverty rate increased from 32.9 per cent in 2014/15 to 37 per cent in 2019/20, an increase of 4.1 per cent.

The new data also reveals the North West constituencies with greatest numbers of children living in poverty, with Bolton South East fourth on the list, with 45 per cent of children living in poverty.

Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South East, said: “It is a damning indictment of Conservative rule over the last 11 years that child poverty has soared to such concerning rates in not just my patch of Bolton South East, but throughout the North West and rest of the United Kingdom.

“If the Government are serious about their commitments to ‘levelling up’ places like Bolton South East they will outline a comprehensive plan to address this systemic issue which is ravaging places like my constituency.”

Imran Hussain, director of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, said: “We are desperately concerned this generation of children have had their childhoods and life chances damaged. If the government truly wants to level up parts of the country hardest hit by poverty, they must scrap their plans to cut Universal Credit.”