TWO mayors have made rival bids to be Labour’s Parliamentary candidate in the new seat covering most of Kingswood.
Damien Egan, who grew up in the area and is now the elected mayor of Lewisham in London, has announced he is running to be his party’s pick for the Bristol North East constituency.
He joins Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees, who confirmed in May that he was ‘putting his hat into the ring’ for the seat, which also includes Staple Hill, Mangotsfield and Fishponds and is expected to be contested at the next general election if boundary change recommendations are approved.
Damien, 40, lived in Downend, Fishponds, St George and Berkeley House in Staple Hill as a teenager, and his first job was at Downend’s Somerfield supermarket, now the Co-op.
A Downend and Bromley Heath Parish Councillor in 2003-7 – one of the youngest councillors in the country at the time of his election – he moved to London for work and joined Lewisham Council in 2010, becoming the cabinet member for housing in 2014 and directly-elected mayor of the borough in 2018.
Damien said: “I’m from Bristol North East, my family are here, this is where I went to school, there won’t be another candidate who knows the streets and different communities of our part of Bristol as well as I do.”
Marvin Rees confirmed his candidacy in an interview with the BBC in May, saying: “I am putting my hat in the ring now, having gone through the family discussion about it.