New MP promises different politics

KINGSWOOD’S new MP has promised to show his new constituents that “politics can be different” after his by-election victory.

Labour’s Damien Egan overturned a Conservative majority of more than 11,000 to win the seat, which includes Emersons Green.

He won the poll with a majority of 2,501 over Tory candidate Sam Bromiley, defending the seat after Chris Skidmore resigned in January.

Mr Egan said his first priority would be to “get to work” quickly on issues that had come up on doorsteps during the campaign, including access to NHS dentists and doctors, crime and the cost of living.

Speaking to the Voice at the count after his election was confirmed, Mr Egan said: “The fact that there’s no NHS dentists (taking on new patients) anywhere in Bristol is huge. People are also finding it really hard to get to a doctor.”

The new MP also said many people had raised concerns about policing and feeling unsafe, and about the cost of living.

He said: “The cost of living isn’t just a slogan, this is people’s lives, people telling me how they feel like they’re not living, but existing. People are working really hard, they’re doing extra hours, life is very tough for people at the moment.”

The Kingswood constituency is being abolished at the next general election, which has to take place in the next 10 months.

Mr Egan will be Labour’s candidate for the new Bristol North East constituency, which includes Siston Hill.

Voters in Emersons Green and Lyde Green will all become part of the Filton & Bradley Stoke seat, currently represented by Conservative Jack Lopresti.

Mr Egan said he would not ignore those constituents he might only be representing for a few months.

He said: “I think I’ve even got more responsibility for those people, making sure they’ve got a responsive MP representing and putting their voice in Parliament.”

In his victory speech after the count, Mr Egan said: “Thank you for giving me your trust, and for allowing me to serve the community that I’m from. It’s a trust that I promise to repay, to show you that politics can be different, and it can make a difference.” He said the last 14 years had “sucked the hope out of our country” but promised: “The work to give Kingswood its future back starts now.”