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Selections: Meet Labour's 11 newest candidates, from a mayor to a Reverend – LabourList

Eleven more Labour candidates for the next general election have been unveiled over the weekend – including current West of England mayor Dan Norris, who will contest the seat he lost to Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg in 2010.

Norris – who was the MP for the former seat of Wansdyke in south west England from 1997 to 2010 – has been selected to contest the constituency of North East Somerset and Hanham, the successor seat to Rees-Mogg’s current seat of North East Somerset, which the former cabinet minister won ahead of Norris back in 2010.

Norris, who has served as the mayor of the West of England since 2021, said he was “delighted and proud” to have been selected, adding: “This is my home and I’m passionate about making it the best it can be.

“North East Somerset and Hanham is a highly marginal seat, and it’s one where only Labour can beat the Conservatives. After 14 years of the Conservatives, more and more people tell me they want to turn the page.”

Rees-Mogg’s most recent majority was 14,729 votes, but Electoral Calculus currently predicts a fairly comfortable Labour victory in the seat.

Series of candidates announced in south east England

Elsewhere, Maureen Cleator was revealed as the Labour candidate for Maidstone and Malling. She has lived in Maidstone for 38 years and currently serves as leader of the Labour group on the local council.

She is a vice-chair of the Labour South East regional executive committee and previously worked as service conditions officer for UNISON Kent local government branch.

Ben Cox was chosen as the Labour candidate for East Grinstead and Uckfield. He is a councillor for New Town ward on Uckfield Town Council. Announcing his selection, Cox said he is standing for parliament to “ensure the voice of rural communities is heard in Westminster”.

“Growing up in rural England is a privilege that has also helped me to understand the challenges that come with the territory,” he added.

Lucy Sims was picked as the Labour candidate for East Hampshire. She is a full-time mum and volunteer who lives in Winchester. Confirming her selection, she said she was “delighted” to have been chosen.

“After 14 years of Tory chaos, we need a Labour government to get Britain’s future back, and I am honoured to have a key role in delivering the change that we so desperately need,” she said in a post on X.

Meanwhile, Chris Philipsborn was chosen as the Labour candidate for Arundel and South Downs. He is the executive vice-president of communications consultancy Kreab Worldwide and managing partner of Kreab London.

Reverend Andy Fitchet was picked as Labour’s candidate for North West Hampshire. He is a minister based in Andover and Hungerford and currently serves as vice-chair of Christians on the Left.

Clare Walsh was selected as the Labour candidate for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton. She is the chair of Chichester Constituency Labour Party.

Posting on X following her selection, Walsh said she was “honoured” to have been picked, adding: “If elected as the [Labour] MP I will listen to constituents and make the positive changes our community needs.”

More candidates unveiled elsewhere in England and Scotland

Emma Bishton was chosen as Labour’s candidate for South Suffolk. She previously contested the seat in 2010 and 2017 and currently works mostly as a musician and music teacher, having worked in the NHS for 23 years.

Speaking following her selection, Bishton pledged to “give voice to the people of this constituency”, adding: “I am delighted to advocate for a Labour government to restore hope and opportunity in this community.”

Paul Hilliar was selected to contest South Holland and The Deepings. He grew up locally and currently works as celebrities and endorsement manager for the Labour Party.

Neil Duncan-Jordan was chosen as Labour’s candidate for Poole. He is a local campaigner who works as a regional official for UNISON, representing nurses, teaching assistants, cleaners and refuse collectors.

Duncan-Jordan said: “It’s a real privilege to stand and offer residents a chance to vote for a candidate who can speak up for Poole on the things that matter, like the NHS, housing and the cost-of-living crisis.”

Eva Kestner was also reportedly selected as the Scottish Labour candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross. She is a councillor on Lewisham council in London, representing Lee Green ward.

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