Mayor’s Rees-Mogg rematch

METRO Mayor Dan Norris will bid to return to Parliament at the next general election – by taking on the man who unseated him in 2010, Tory MP Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Mr Norris was the MP for Wansdyke from 1997 to 2010, when the constituency was replaced by North East Somerset and he lost to Sir Jacob.

Now he has been selected as the Labour candidate for North East Somerset and Hanham, the seat replacing North East Somerset after another boundary change.

Mr Norris said: “It’s the place I care most about in the whole world. It’s where I grew up.”

He has lived near the village of Pensford for 25 years, and said: “I understand the communities. They are all very important to me and they see things in very different ways.”

Since 2021, Mr Norris has been the Metro Mayor for the West of England, which includes the area covered by the North East Somerset and Hanham constituency, as well as the rest of South Gloucestershire, B&NES and Bristol.

If he was elected as an MP again, Mr Norris said he would stay on as Metro Mayor at least until the end of his term of office next May.

The next general election must be called by the end of this year, so he said there “would have to be a period of overlap”.

Mr Norris said: “I think it would be totally wasteful of taxpayers’ money to have a by-election.”

He said his main achievement as Metro Mayor was the Birthday Bus scheme, giving people free bus travel in the month of their birthday.

If elected an MP again, two major issues he would fight for are children’s and animal welfare. Mr Norris was a child protection social worker before entering politics and is the chair of the League Against Cruel Sports.

By John Wimperis, Local Democracy Reporting Service