Labour’s Dan to fight MP Jacob at general election

METRO MAYOR Dan Norris has been chosen as Labour’s candidate to battle Jacob Rees-Mogg to become North East Somerset and Hanham MP.

He beat off the challenge of Keynsham resident James Coldwell, who is vice chair of North East Somerset & Hanham Labour Party, and Rebecca Montacute, in the selection vote by Labour members.

At the general election on July 4, Mr Norris will be up against the Liberal Democrat challenger, Mayor of Bath Dine Romero, and the Green Party’s Edmund Cannon, a Keynsham town councillor.

Mr Norris said that, if he is elected, there would be “a period of overlap” with his position as West of England Metro Mayor.

He was the MP for Wansdyke from 1997 to 2010, when the constituency was replaced by North East Somerset, which Mr Norris lost to Conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The new North East Somerset and Hanham constituency will contain about half of the current North East Somerset constituency – including Keynsham and Saltford – and Hanham, which is currently part of the Kingswood constituency.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service after being selected, Mr Norris said: “It’s the place I care most about in the whole world. Its where I grew up. It’s given me a lot and I want to do more to give back to the community.”

He has lived near the village of Pensford for 25 years.

Since 2021, Mr Norris has been the Metro Mayor of the West of England, an area including North East Somerset and Hanham.

He said he had decided to try to win back his former seat after 14 years of Tory government, including the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition.

Mr Norris said of Jacob Rees-Mogg: “I know him and we get on fine. He’s my constituent and I am his.”

He added: “I think he takes a keen interest in his constituency. It’s not that that concerns me, it’s the Tory record and he has been defending that.”

If he was elected, Mr Norris said he would stay on as Metro Mayor, for which his term in office runs until 2025.

“I think it would be totally wasteful of taxpayers money to have a byelection. So I think there would have to be a period of overlap.

“The public know me and they will need to make their minds up about that.”

If elected as the MP, he said two major issues he would fight for are children’s and animals’ welfare.

He has been a campaigner against fox hunting and is the chair of the League Against Cruel Sports.

Opinion polls have pointed towards a Labour victory in the general election and put the North East Somerset and Hanham seat on a knife edge.

Dan Norris was interviewed by John Wimperis, Local Democracy Reporting Service