Plans mooted to change East End MP constituency boundaries

East End's two Labour MPs Rushanara Ali (left) at Bethnal Green & Bow and Apsana Begum in neighbouring Poplar & Limehouse.

East End's two Labour MPs Rushanara Ali (left) at Bethnal Green & Bow and Apsana Begum in neighbouring Poplar & Limehouse. - Credit: Parliament TV

Changes over which MP you vote for in east London have been proposed, with all of Bow facing being severed from the rest of the East End. 

The current Bethnal Green and Bow constituency and its neighbouring Poplar and Limehouse seat would be reshaped if the Boundary Commission for England’s (BCE) proposals get the green light in 2023. 

MP Rushanara Ali campaigning in Whitehall for the NHS in 2018, with former MP Jim Fitzpatrick (seen to the right) 

MP Rushanara Ali campaigning in Whitehall for the NHS in 2018, with former MP Jim Fitzpatrick (seen to the right at the back) - Credit: Save NHS campaign

The whole of Bow and Old Ford on Hackney Wick south side down to Bromley-by-Bow would be lost from the former Bethnal Green and Bow region to a new parliamentary constituency being carved out on both sides of the River Lea that would centre around the Olympic Park.

It would stretch as far as Forest Gate and Upton Park, with the name suggested as Stratford and Bow constituency.  

Bethnal Green's loss would be compensated by getting all of Stepney to the south, including Whitechapel and Shadwell as far as The Highway by the London Docks. 

Rushanara Ali... candidate at 2019 General Election hustings in Whitechapel

Rushanara Ali... candidate at 2019 General Election hustings in Whitechapel - Credit: Mike Brooke


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The current constituency has been represented by Labour’s Rushanara Ali since 2010, after MP George Galloway lost his place in Parliament.  

It is suggested that its name is replaced with Bethnal Green and Stepney. 

Poplar & Limehouse MP Apsana Begum at Canary Wharf protest over tower block cladding, May 2021.

Poplar & Limehouse MP Apsana Begum at Canary Wharf protest over tower block cladding, May 2021. - Credit: Mike Brooke

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Poplar and Limehouse has been represented in Parliament by Labour’s Apsana Begum since the last election in 2019. She took over from Jim Fitzpatrick who retired after holding the seat for Labour for two decades, including the days when it included Canning Town. 

The constituency would not change dramatically but does lose parts of Whitechapel and the whole of Shadwell, keeping Wapping and St Katharine’s along the Thames waterfront south of The Highway as far as the Tower of London.

It would also keep the whole of the Isle of Dogs.

Its name is proposed to stay the same. 

Poplar & Limehouse MP Apsana Begum at her Isle of Dogs home

Poplar & Limehouse MP Apsana Begum at her Isle of Dogs home - Credit: Zoom

Mile End would be split between the two constituencies along the Mile End Road.

BCE is inviting public opinion online on its proposed boundary changes as part of an eight-week consultation, with maps showing proposed changes. The consultation closes on August 2.  

“We consider all feedback during the consultation,” BCE secretary Tim Bowden said. “It’s local knowledge that helps us shape constituencies that best reflect the area.”  

Further consultations are planned next year.

The review is aimed at making sure the number of electors is more equal for each constituency. This would add another two parliamentary seats in Greater London and 10 more to the 533 across England.

The commission presents its final recommendations to Parliament by the summer of 2023. 

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