General Election: Candidates announced for North East Somerset

By Selina Cuff in Politics

With the winner of the Metro Mayor election now announced it is a case of one down one to go as the General Election approaches on Thursday 8th June.

With the various political parties having until 11th May to announce their candidates the names are slowly coming in for who we can vote for as our local MP in a month’s time.

The Green Party had predicted that Prime Minister Theresa May would be calling an election this year, and announced their candidate well before any of the others. In January 2017 Sally Calverley, was announced as the Green Party candidate in the event of an election.

At the time of the announcement Mrs Calverly who has lived in the Chew Valley with her family since 2001 said "“I’m fed up of other parties parachuting in candidates who have never lived here and have no idea what it is really like. Our rural communities are fragile and depend upon the strength of community ties. Communities can be put at risk by underinvestment in infrastructure or by a climate change event. These so called once in a 100 years events seem to come along every few years now”.

Then following the General Election announcement current MP for North East Somerset Jacob Rees-Mogg declared he would run again for the seat which he has held for the past two elections. Mr Rees-Mogg was officially adopted as the Conservative candidate last Tuesday (2nd May) at a packed meeting in Marksbury in the heart of the North East Somerset Constituency. Jacob gave a rousing speech and call to arms before being endorsed by the Conservative Party members attending the meeting.

After the meeting Jacob said, “I am delighted to have been adopted once again by my local Association and together we intend to fight the General Election here in North East Somerset with fairness and vigour. I look forward to meeting my opponents at Hustings to be held during the Campaign and putting the arguments for returning Mrs May with a resounding majority.”

On Wednesday 3rd May the Lib Dems announced that their candidate for North East Somerset would be Manda Rigby a former councillor for Abbey Ward on B&NES Council from 2011 until 2015, before she unsucessfully ran for the seat of Devices in the last General Election. Two years on she is now running as the Lib Dem candidate for North East Somerset and has already been seen out in the Chew Valley last week canvassing for votes in Chew Magna and at the lake.

Labour have also now declared that their candidate looking to take North East Somerset is Robin Moss. Robin lives in Radstock and currently represents the neighbouring ward of Westfield on B&NES Council. He works in Keynsham, where, with a group of local people, he helped set up a Youth and Community Trust providing activities and services out of a redundant vicarage. He now manages that trust.

Commenting at the time of the announcement Mr Moss said:" “Locally, this is a contest between a Conservative MP who wants to reduce our legal rights and protections, whether in work, as consumers or the environment we live in and myself, as a progressive candidate who believes that the law should be there for all of us, not just in the interests of the wealthy few.

“I am looking forward to debating with Mr Rees-Mogg over the next few weeks. Sometimes you hear people say that politicians are all the same. But not in North East Somerset!”

A hustings event is being held in the Chew Valley with the main candidates on Thursday 18th May at 7pm at Ubley Village Hall. During the 2015 election campaign this event proved very popular and insightful to the voters who attended and with a much shorter campaign time ahead of this election there will be far fewer events or chance to interact with the candidates.

On Thursday as nominations closed for the constituency it was announced that Midsomer Norton resident Shaun Hughes was running as an independent candidate. Mr Hughes describes himself as traditionally Conservative and passionate about the area he lives in and believes that we should expect the same from our MP. He is proud of the fact he is part of the local community in every way, and has hands on experience on a daily basis of our area and the challenges we face.

He has lived in Midsomer Norton for the past 23 years, since 1994 he has managed his own successful business in the Military and Avionics Electronics industry.

He states that is running for MP to offer a ’real alternative’ to the current political situation.

"Our current MP seems to align himself more with Nigel Farage than the UK government, a supporter of UKIP and happy to push us out of Europe at any cost," states Mr Hughes. "I’m sure that his kids will not go without if it all goes wrong, however the rest of us do not live in his little bubble, this is the real world where job losses are not just acceptable collateral and increases in the cost of food, fuel and heating impact on peoples lives.

"We live in an area with a serious lack of investment, cutbacks in all our services, with our police and health services stretched to the limit and the only growing industries are charity shops and car washes.Let’s make our first priority North East Somerset, It’s time for a change."

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