Greens pick MP hopeful

THE Green Party has announced its candidate to be the Downend area’s MP at the next general election.

James Nelson has been selected to contest the Filton and Bradley Stoke seat currently held by Conservative Jack Lopresti.

The youngest candidate to be confirmed so far, James is a 19-year-old Bristol University law student.

Elected as a Bradley Stoke town councillor at the age of 18 in last May’s local elections, he also stood for South Gloucestershire Council’s Bradley Stoke North ward, coming sixth, ahead of the Liberal Democrats, in the two-member seat.

James said: “I am deeply honoured to have been selected to stand for the Green Party in my home constituency of Filton and Bradley Stoke.

“Having lived in the area since I was around two years old, seen the old established parties fail this area, and faced the consequences of nearly a decade and a half of Tory rule, I know we need fresh change for a fairer, greener country.

“As a Bradley Stoke town councillor, I have worked on a mantra of doing politics differently and putting action to words.

“That’s why I am proud to have worked cross party to end the party-politicisation of the town council, install secure cycle storage at the Jubilee Centre and launch a successful consultation on the proposed parkrun for the local nature reserve, so that residents’ views were at the heart of the decision we took.”

James said his priorities as an MP would include leading on the climate crisis, making those who profit from fossil fuels pay for the changes needed, and bringing power “home to our community so we can fix our problems rather than waiting for Westminster to get its act together”.

Boundary changes mean that all homes in the Frenchay & Downend and Emersons Green electoral wards will be part of the Filton & Bradley Stoke constituency. Previously some were in Kingswood, which is being abolished at the next election.

Staple Hill & Mangotsfield, which was split between Filton & Bradley Stoke and Kingswood, becomes part of the new Bristol North East seat, where the Greens have selected Lorraine Francis.

Current Filton & Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti, who has held the seat since it was created in 2010, is standing again at the next general election, which must be called by the end of this year.

Labour, which has come second in all four previous elections for the seat, selected community and political engagement director and charity trustee Claire Hazelgrove as its candidate last year.

At the 2019 election, Mr Lopresti has a majority of 5,646 or 5.25% over Labour, making the constituency the 74th most marginal Tory seat in the UK.