Bolton MPs have given their reaction after less than half of the borough’s residents said they were English.

St George's Day is celebrated yearly on April 23.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics earlier this month showed that just 48 per cent of borough residents said they were English in 2023 – up from 45 per cent in 2022 – but far below figures in 2004, the earliest data available, when more than two-thirds considered themselves English.

However, more than half of residents considered themselves "British" – higher than in 2004, when fewer than four in 10 identified as such.

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Nationwide, 43 per cent of people said they were English. Respondents could select as many options as they like from British, English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish or "other".

Bolton West and Atherton MP Chris Green said: “There is always a little fluidity in identity and how it is discussed and presented.

“Some in Bolton identify with Ted Heath’s GM administrative area rather than with Lancashire. Some claim that the Cross of St George is a racist symbol - when it is not - while they respect every other nation’s flag. Some emphasise England and others emphasise the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

“I have always alternated between England and the UK with no particular preference though I am amused by Americans referring to all Brits as all being English as it upsets the Scots and Welsh.

“The British Olympic Association, by using the ugly term ‘Team GB’, has excluded Northern Ireland so it shows how easy it is to confuse identity.”

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Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi said: “I am very proud to say I am from a British Pakistani background. Being British and English is part of my identity, and it is great that many people, like me, do identify in many different ways.

“That unique diversity and identities make our country great. Let's not forget our identities as Northerners, Lancastrians and Boltonians too.

“So Happy St George’s Day to all my constituents.”

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