BURY South MP Ivan Lewis has slammed proposed constituency boundary changes, labelling them as dividing communities for "political benefit".

Last week the Government laid out its final plans for the redrawing of Parliamentary constituency boundaries, which would abolish the existing Bury North and South seats.

Under the Boundary Commission proposals Mr Lewis's seat would be split between three newly-formed constituencies, with three Radcliffe wards becoming part of a Farnworth and Radcliffe seat, and five Prestwich and Whitefield wards joining a Prestwich and Middleton seat.

All remaining Bury wards would be contained in a single Bury constituency.

Mr Lewis said: “I note the proposals of the Boundary Commission’s final reports and recommendations for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries and am disappointed that it recommends the division of the communities of Radcliffe, Whitefield and Prestwich that I have served for twenty years. It is a result of Tory proposals designed for their political benefit rather than in the interests of the county or our democracy. If they cared about a fairer distribution of votes they would put a much greater effort into registering the voters not currently on the electoral register.

"These proposals will only take effect if supported by a parliamentary vote in the months ahead. I hope we can build a parliamentary majority across parties to ensure they are rejected.”

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

A number of public consultations, beginning in 2016, were held in the run up to last Monday's publication of the proposals. 

Under Labour Party rules MPs are entitled to seek reselection if a new constituency contains 40 per cent of their existing seat.

This would not apply to Mr Lewis in the Farnworth and Radcliffe seat, where Bolton South East MP Yasmin Qureshi currently represents five of the eight wards, but would in the Prestwich and Middleton seat.

However, Heywood and Middleton's Labour MP, Liz McInnes, who represents half of the Prestwich and Middleton wards, could also seek selection.

Bury North MP James Frith would similarly be entitled to selection in Bury, which contains all his existing wards plus Unsworth.