Greens opt for city councillor Lorraine

A BRISTOL city councillor has been chosen to be the Green Party’s candidate for the new Bristol North East constituency at the next general election.

The new seat has been created as part of boundary changes and includes the Staple Hill & Mangotsfield ward.

Green candidate Lorraine Francis has been a city councillor for Eastville since 2021, gaining her party’s first seat in a ward which had elected two Labour councillors at the previous election.

She stood as the Greens’ parliamentary candidate for the Bristol East seat in 2015 and 2017, polling fourth on both occasions.

Lorraine, who is a social worker outside her council role, was born in Bristol and attended Baptist Mills Primary School then Lockleaze School.

Originally from St Paul’s before moving to Easton, she has worked in social care since the age of 24 and is also a qualified therapist.

Lorraine is in the Greens’ shadow cabinet on the city council and also chairs its human resources committee. 

She said: “My love of Bristol has led me to stand, to ensure that people who look like me, as well as people who relate to my politics, continue to have hope for a better and equitable political system. 

“I also see myself as an advocate for health and social care, and want to see social care reform. 

“I am an activist and supportive of other activists wanting to keep our NHS as a public and accessible service, and I am passionate about equality and fairness.

“There are so many issues that I care about, that goes without saying: the climate, transport, young people, to name a few.

“If I was an MP, there would be no issue that I would not tackle, for the betterment of Bristol North East and Bristol.”

A manager at Downend takeaway Rajastan Royal is the Greens’ candidate for the neighbouring Bristol East constituency.

Naseem Talukdar, who manages the restaurant’s charity and community relations and lives in Fishponds, is also the founder of charity Feed The Homeless and chief executive of Projects Against Plastic, which campaigns to make the catering industry more sustainable.

He said: “I pledge to address critical issues head-on: ensuring access to social housing, unlocking job opportunities for the youth, and fostering a sustainable environment that amplifies British values.”

Earlier in 2023, Labour selected Damien Egan as its candidate for Bristol North East. Damien, the directly elected  Mayor of Lewisham in London, grew up in east Bristol.