New MP thanks voters

KINGSWOOD’S new MP has thanked everyone who supported him in February’s by-election – and told of his surprise at the level of “rowdiness” in the House of Commons.

Damien Egan says he has been busy recruiting a team to help him keep on top of constituents’ messages and now has an email address – – for constituents to use to get in touch.

The Labour MP was elected in February for the constituency, which includes Mangotsfield and parts of Downend, after former Tory minister Chris Skidmore resigned over the government’s policy on new fossil fuel exploration.

Mr Egan said: “To say it’s an honour, to be elected to serve the people of Kingswood and be our community’s voice in Westminster, doesn’t do justice to how I’m feeling.

“Parliament itself has been a real eye-opener.

“What’s surprised me has been the level of rowdiness – it’s worse in real-life than on the TV and can make following questions difficult. I’m told I’ll get used to it.”

As the Voice went to print Mr Egan was waiting to be given a date to make his maiden speech, his first opportunity to “make sure Kingswood’s voice is heard clearly, through all the commotion”.

He said: “I’m going to include some of the honest feedback that people gave me on the doorstep and what people told me they wanted politicians, of all parties, to sort out – the fact we’ve got no NHS dentists accepting new patients, the difficulties seeing a GP, hospital waiting-lists, the lack of visible police on the street, cuts to bus routes, the running down of our high streets, schools funding, cuts to apprenticeships.

“I want politicians in Westminster to understand that people in Kingswood work hard, long hours – working well above the national and regional averages – but that despite working more hours, life has become more of a struggle, and it’s impacting harshly on family life.”

The Kingswood constituency is being abolished at the next general election. Mr Egan has already been selected as Labour’s candidate for the new Bristol North East seat, which will include Staple Hill and Mangotsfield.