THE political map in Northumberland is set to be torn up, with the county expected to lose one of its MPs.

England’s biggest local authority is currently represented in Westminster by four constituencies – Berwick-upon-Tweed, Blyth Valley, Hexham and Wansbeck. But under the latest proposals put forward by the Boundary Commission for England, this could be reduced to three, with Blyth and Wansbeck merged and a host of changes for the remaining two.

MPs were given early sight of the proposals, which are expected to maintain the House of Commons’s current full strength figure of 650 representatives, on Monday ahead of the report’s official publication on Tuesday.

The latest review follows two previous failed attempts, in 2013 and 2018, which were rejected by MPs after proposals included slashing the number of constituencies from 650 to 600.

The commission’s new report seeks to ensure constituencies have roughly equal numbers of voters – about 73,000 each – except in a handful of seats given ‘protected’ status due to their size and low populations.

An eight-week public consultation has now begun with a second round of public consultation, including public hearings on the proposals, due to start early next year (2022) ahead of a final version of the plan being completed by June 2023.

Under the plans, Morpeth, currently part of the Wansbeck constituency, could be tied in with Berwick. Meanwhile, the Hexham constituency could be expanded to Callerton and Throckley.

A new Blyth and Ashington constituency would include parts of the current Wansbeck constituency and existing Blyth Valley constituency.

Cramlington, currently part of the Blyth Valley constituency, could be included in a new Whitley Bay and Cramlington constituency.