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Norris Bids To Be Labour MP Again At Any Cost - Even Constitutional Conflict

Dan Norris, the metro mayor for the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), intends to seek selection as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for North East Somerset & Hanham - despite a potential conflict with WECA's constitution, which historically prohibits secondary employment for employees, including the metro mayor.

Since WECA’s beginnings in 2017 its constitution has read (PS emphasis): On no account should an employee accept either secondary employment or a financial payment from any person, body or organisation, with which the Combined Authority is involved, e.g. contractors, developers, consultants”.

Former MP for the former Wansdyke constituency in Somerset, Norris previously left politics before returning to the forefront when elected as the regional mayor in May 2021.

Norris has recently been seen – and self-publicised on X – campaigning for new Kingswood MP, Lewisham Mayor Damien Egan, the NEC-imposed Jewish Labour candidate, who has been widely criticised for his connections with the IDF’s 8200 ‘spy unit’, and his selection over other better qualified but less ‘amenable to Starmer’ candidates.

Since the Kingswood seat is soon to be abolished by the Boundary Commission, Norris’s pal Damien Egan would only be MP for under a year – not to worry, he’s already been pre-selected for Bristol North East, where he ‘won’ over local Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and a local councillor.

However, joining the canvassing – and again, publicising the fact on X – was local candidate James Coldwell (below, right), also in the running for North East Somerset & Hanham. Coldwell has chosen to follow one of the more revolting ‘New Labour’ has-beens, Zionist Labour First fan Ian McKenzie, who was suspended from Labour under Corbyn after vile ‘rape’ tweets about Emily Thornberry.

And right there alongside them was Rebecca Montacute (below, middle), also hoping to be selected for North East Somerset & Hanham, who congratulated Egan on his win, and has taken the ‘belt and braces’ approach by following both the Jewish Labour Movement and its odious Policy Manager Joshua Garfield on X.

Norris has neglected to follow JLM, although it’s probably only a matter of time – meanwhile he follows ‘journalist’ Alison Phillips, one of the most poisonous people on social media.

In November 2023 it was found that as Mayor, Norris authorised ‘unlawful’ spending of £10,000 in public money to plaster buses with images of himself and his dog, up to 3 metres high. He said at the time that the images had to be so big because 'it's a big bus'.

More recently he called for people to “switch off the light at night” to save energy and encourage dark skies. Apart from there being no mention of how people are supposed to actually see during the hours of darkness, it doesn’t bode well for the street lighting in the West of England…

During his time as MP, Norris claimed the maximum allowed for ‘additional accommodation’ expenses, up to £400 per month for ‘food’, all utilities plus TV licence, mortgage interest and a cleaner.

He said of his bid for renewed MP status that he wanted to ‘do whatever I can’ to help Labour win the General Election. “This is going to be a very important General Election coming up, and we don’t know when it will be, but I would like to be considered as a potential candidate for North East Somerset and Hanham,”.

Due to changes made by the Boundary Commission, the Wansdyke constituency was abolished at the 2010 election. Norris stood instead for the North East Somerset seat which covered a similar area, but was defeated by the Conservative candidate Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Norris was critical of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership and the Labour Party's handling of antisemitism, stating in an op-ed for the Bristol Post, "today’s Labour leadership seems to have become highly uncomfortable in opposing racism when it is directed at Jewish people" – which would make him an ideal candidate for the current Starmer administration.

Indeed some of his previous utterances, including “I’m not really bothered about procedures or legal arguments, frankly. I’m determined to get policies through and things delivered” would seem to suit the current Labour leadership, which has demonstrated its indifference to parliamentary protocol after its recent dealings with Speaker Lindsay Hoyle, perfectly.

(Possibly why they are ignoring the clear conflicts raised by Norris holding both positions)

Norris's decision to pursue both roles concurrently is unprecedented in the context of WECA's constitutional framework, which traditionally prohibited secondary employment for employees, including the metro mayor. However, amendments to the constitution in 2023 appear to have conveniently removed the clause, leaving him seemingly free and clear, but prompting furious debate over whether his bid for MP violates the spirit of the original document.

Critics argue that Norris's dual roles could compromise his effectiveness as metro mayor and raise concerns about potential conflicts of interest. They point to historical precedents, such as Dan Jarvis MP being mayor of South Yorkshire (which has no such clause in its constitution), as evidence of the inherent challenges in holding both positions simultaneously.

Tracy Brabin stood down as a Labour MP after winning election as Mayor of West Yorkshire. Andy Burnham stood down as a Labour MP even before his election as Metro Mayor of Manchester. Rubber-stamping Norris's candidature would of course leave Burnham, still the bookies' favourite to be next Labour Leader, free to do the same - constitution permitting.

In 2022 Jarvis came 4th in the ‘league table’ of MPs earnings outside Parliament, raking in a reported £665,000 – the only MPs earning more were Tories – with an MP’s salary being a ‘mere’ £84,000, this has raised questions as to which ‘job’ Norris would prioritise; the work-intensive MP role or the similarly-paid mayoral ribbon-cutting.

Moreover, the absence of specific guidelines regarding secondary employment in WECA's current constitution adds to the ambiguity surrounding Norris's situation. While some argue that an MP is not technically an employee, others contend that the principles of accountability and transparency should apply regardless of semantics.

The controversy surrounding Norris's candidacy highlights broader issues related to governance and accountability within local authorities. Questions arise about the adequacy of constitutional safeguards to prevent conflicts of interest and ensure the integrity of elected officials – not least why the WECA constitution was amended, seemingly to allow just such a situation.

The constitution was amended to take out the troublesome clause by the four-person West of England Combined Authority Committee, of which Mayor Norris is Chair. Also attending was Richard Bonner, Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, who sits in on meetings but does not have a vote.

As Dan Norris embarks on his bid to be both MP and Mayor, the debate over his eligibility to hold dual roles highlights the need for clarity and transparency in local government. Disregarding this, the Labour NEC recently announced that it will pick the candidates for all remaining seats - without recourse to the votes or opinions of local party members.

(So we'll probably see a lot less of Norris and other prospective PPCs out and about talking to actual residents, and much more toadying to the current NEC 'Stasi' faction...)

Whether Norris's candidacy ultimately proceeds unimpeded or prompts a reassessment of WECA's constitutional framework remains to be seen, but the episode shows the decline of ethical standards and public trust in elected representatives.


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