Blunkett could lose his city seat

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VETERAN Labour MP David Blunkett could be the biggest loser of proposals to reorganise South Yorkshire’s political map.

The county will lose one MP under the proposals drafted by the Boundary Commission - and the geography of the plans could leave the former Home Secretary scrambling for a seat.

If the proposals are voted through Parliament in 2013, Mr Blunkett’s existing Brightside and Hillsborough seat will be torn up and distributed three ways, between the new Sheffield Central, Rotherham and Sheffield East, Barnsley West and Ecclesfield constituencies.

While most MPs will see a substantial portion of their existing seats in the new constituencies, Mr Blunkett, who was first elected in 1987, has no real stake in any of the new entities.

If he decides to continue as an MP he will have to decide whether to stand in Sheffield Central, where he will have a 39 per cent stake - compared to current Central MP Paul Blomfield’s 61 per cent - or the new Barnsley West and Ecclesfield, where he will have 37 per cent to Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Angela Smith’s 52 per cent.

A third possibility is Mr Blunkett chosen as the Labour candidate against standing Rotherham MP Denis MacShane, who has lost the party whip pending the outcome of a police investigation into his expenses.

Another loser could be current Sheffield Heeley Labour MP Meg Munn. She is likely to be selected to contest the new Sheffield South West seat, which comprises 67 per cent of her existing constituency as well as parts of Sheffield Central and Sheffield Hallam. On the basis of the 2010 council elections, under the new boundaries the Lib Dems would have won the seat.