Conservative MP Chris Green has rallied supporters ahead of a “tough race” to keep hold of his Bolton seat in the looming general election.

The Bolton West MP officially launched his campaign in Westhoughton on Saturday, June 1 with just weeks to go until the national poll.

Speaking after an event attended by party members and councillors, Mr Green said he hoped to emphasise his record in the area in the weeks ahead.

He said: “I was delighted to officially launch the Bolton West re-election campaign.

“Looking at the national polls its going to be a tough race but local residents know that I have always put Bolton West first and not my own career.”

The Bolton News: Chris Green has campaigned for the reopening of Bolton Custody SuiteChris Green has campaigned for the reopening of Bolton Custody Suite (Image: Public)

He added: “I think the single biggest issue since I was first elected has been law and order and my challenge to the previous chief of police Ian Hopkins to close Bolton Custody Suite.

“Working with the home secretary to challenge that decision and secure the reopening of the custody suite has been my single biggest achievement and from what I’ve heard it’s been full up almost every day since reopening.”

Mr Green was first elected to represent Bolton West in the general election of 2015 when he defeated sitting Labour MP Julie Hilling by less than 1,000 votes.

He was re-elected by a similarly slim margin in 2017 but dramatically increased his majority to one of nearly 9,000 votes in the general election of 2019.

In October 2020 he resigned from his position as a parliamentary private secretary in the Department for Education in opposition to the government’s lockdown measures.

Since then Mr Green has also been a well-known figure in the borough through his campaigning on infrastructure projects like the Horwich link road and for a new junction 7 on the M61.

But he has accepted previously that the Bolton West seat is set to be one of the most “closely watched, closely fought” anywhere in the country in the upcoming general election.

The sudden defection of former Conservative MP for Bolton North East Mark Logan to Labour has left Mr Green as the only sitting Conservative MP in the borough defending a seat.

It is understood that a replacement Conservative candidate will be selected for Bolton North East in the coming days. 

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They will be standing against Labour’s Kirith Entwistle, Green candidate Cllr Hanif Alli, Rebecca Forest of the Liberal Democrats and Trevor Jones of Reform UK.

In Bolton South East, Conservative Mohammed Afzal will take on sitting Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi.

Also standing will be Liberal Democrat Gemma-Jane Bowker, Reform UK’s Julie Pattison, Philip Kochitty for the Greens, and Jack Khan of the Workers Party.

In Bolton West Mr Green will be up against Labour candidate Phil Brickell, Donald McIntosh of the Liberal Democrats, Vickie Attenborough of the Green Party and Reform UK’s Dylan Evans.

The general election will be held on July 4.