Bristol West: Conservative
Suria was ‘born and raised in Wolverhampton’ but says, ‘after marriage, my husband and I chose to make South West England our home.’ According to the Conservative party website, she is a ‘councillor and School Governor at a school for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. I regularly support charity events, participate in environmental regeneration programmes, and have provided support to young adults in their search for employment.’ Regarding Brexit, she says ‘we need to honour the referendum result and then get on to other issues that also really matter.’
Bristol West: Labour
Bristol West incumbent and Labour Whip Thangam Debbonaire has lived in St Werburgh’s since 1991 and won the seat in both the 2015 and 2017 elections, succeeding former LibDem MP Stephen Williams. In 2017, She describes herself as an ‘ardent Remainer’ and supports her party’s policy of another referendum despite saying ‘another public vote could be divisive and non-conclusive’. This is because Debbonaire thinks ‘it is clear [parliament] have reached an impasse’. She also chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees having previously been the first-ever National Children’s Officer for Women’s Aid. Her other key priorities include tackling the climate crisis, ending domestic violence and abuse, school funding, and drug law reform. She was also recently spotted on the picket line of the UCU strikes at the University of Bristol.
Bristol West: Brexit Party
Neil Hipkiss first moved to Bristol for his job in 1985 with the BBC, calling it the “most fantastic place in the world”. Joining the Brexit party very close to its inception just under a year ago, he was then selected to represent the party subsequently. As well as having a central pillar of his policy centred around Britains leaving of the EU, he wants to see a focus made on those in the constituency who don’t earn a lot of money. He believes some of the constituents feel forgotten, informed by his experience with residents who have told him they have been “let down by the local council and by their local MP”. He also wants to put a pause on the city’s Cumberland Basin regeneration plans to get more information on what the project plans to deliver.
Bristol West: Green
Carla is a Green Party councillor in Bristol and in 2018, she proposed the first Climate Emergency motion in Europe, committing Bristol to go carbon neutral by 2030. Prior to her political career, Carla worked as an engineer in the renewable energy industry. ‘I am standing for election to say Yes to Europe and No to Climate Chaos.’, she said. ‘As soon as I arrive [in Parliament] I will be pushing for a People’s Vote on Brexit deal, and will campaign hard to stop Brexit. I will lead on Real Action to tackle the Climate Emergency, and I will not rest until we have reversed austerity – properly, not the misleading ‘austerity is over’ sham the Tories are trying to sell us.’
Bristol North West: Conservative
Councillor Mark Weston has lived in Bristol since 2005 and though he ‘may not be Bristolian by birth’ he’s ‘Bristolian by choice’. Mark feels that ‘Bristol residents just want to get on with Brexit.’. He said, ‘I want us to be looking at how we can support our economy to continue to provide good jobs. At how we invest & improve local public transport, look at ways to build more housing, further improve education standards and how we preserve our natural environment.’.
He added, ‘we need to get on with Brexit, leave the European Union and then start to look at the other issues that are important to local residents.’
Bristol North West: Labour
Darren Jones has lived in Bristol North West since birth, and went to law school at UWE. On his website, he states that he gets ‘to work with local residents, community groups, businesses, trade unions and our public services to make sure that Bristol North West is the best place to live, work and play.’. Regarding Brexit, Darren is clear on his opposition to leaving the EU and says that ‘I believe with what we now know, the people should decide on our future relationship with the EU.’. He also says that in terms of the environment, ‘We must set and meet challenging and world-leading emissions targets. We must put animal welfare and climate change at the heart of decisions about farming and agriculture.’
Bristol North West: Liberal Democrats
Chris Coleman has been a councillor since 2002, and in the cabinet is responsible for the green environment. Outside of this, he works ‘as a solicitor advocate for a regional law firm specialising in legal aid work’. There has never been a more important time to be a Liberal Democrat. On his website, Christ states that ‘politics is at breaking point and our country is in crisis. It is essential that we continue to campaign to Stop Brexit and remain in the EU. And we must continue to fight for our liberal values which are under threat. In Bristol North West, the Liberal Democrats topped the poll in the European elections. I want to ensure that success is replicated at the next general election.’
Bristol North West: Green Party
Originally from North Devon, Heather Mack moved to Bristol 5 years ago to work as a volunteer and event manager in the charity sector. She now works for local Green Party MEP Molly Scott Cato. Heather Mack is a passionate environmental campaigner. Heather was recently arrested as part of the Extinction Rebellion action in London. She describes herself as a ‘Green Party campaigner, sustainable & flexitarian foody, Bristolian, climber & cyclist’ and according to the Green Party website, ‘she is prepared to fight for what she believes in’.
Bristol East: Conservative
Sarah Codling has been a councillor for North Somerset since 2015. According to the Bristol Conservative Party website, she says that regarding Brexit, ‘The people’s result from the Brexit referendum must be honoured by leaving the EU. Only then can we move beyond divisions to become pro-Bristol, tackle big issues that matter to you and unleash all our potential.’. Her stance on the environment makes it clear that she wants ‘cleaner air in Bristol but not see ordinary people and businesses punished. We need better infrastructure via rail and bus networks, and improved housing standards.’. She says that ‘Due to the strong economy only Conservatives will protect, the Government has committed billions of pounds of extra NHS and school funding. This must result in more, better quality services, meeting the needs of everyone in Bristol East.’
Bristol East: Labour
Kerry was first elected as the MP for Bristol East in 2005. She was ‘the first vegan MP in the House of Commons’ and places ‘sustainability and the environment, food policy, the economy, tackling poverty, international aid and trade, transport, and animal welfare’ as her main areas of interest. She said, ‘Brexit is of course the biggest issue facing the country’ and so believes ‘the decision needs to be brought back to the people through a People’s Vote.’ In addition to this, she established the charity Feeding Bristol to tackle food poverty but believes that in ‘an affluent country like the UK’ the way to tackle this would be ‘proper investment in public services and measures to ensure everyone can enjoy a decent standard of living.’
Bristol East: Liberal Democrats
Nicholas Coombes lives in Bristol East, near St George Park, with his partner. He has lived in Bristol for four years. Regarding Brexit, he says, ‘I campaigned to remain in the European Union, and I am still fighting to stop Brexit. The Liberal Democrats are the strongest party of remain, and a strong Lib Dem presence in parliament will be able to force a People’s Vote or revoke Article 50.’
In terms of the environment, Nicholas says, ‘I’m a town planner specialising in infrastructure; I ran the public inquiry into the world’s largest offshore wind farm. My expertise in energy and transport is an ideal background for tackling the climate emergency. The Lib Dems have a practical plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, to prevent catastrophic climate change. I moved to the Westcountry for university and did my Masters in Bristol. I’ve been elected as a local councillor twice, and served on the education committee. The Liberal Democrats will invest in education to give every child a fair start in life.’
Bristol East: Green Party
Brought up farming in Ireland, Conan Connolly is naturally passionate about sustainable practices and food security. He joined the Green Party in 2013 after ten years of military service in Ireland and becoming a Civil & Environmental Engineer, graduating from the University of Dublin. Conan ‘will prioritise climate action, and ending Brexit sectarianism & racism.’ According to his website, Conan stands for ‘a sustainable network of rural communities, where our dependence on nature is recognised and respected as the bedrock of our prosperity. I stand for a society where Rights & Responsibilities are equally valued. Where we the value the arts, sport, music, dancing, community spirit, soil health and biodiversity that we depend on for life.’
Bristol East: Brexit Party
Tim Page first came to Bristol in the 1980s as a student to study law, which would form the basis of his career years later as an international corporate and commercial lawyer. In his own words: “Like so many I am incensed by what has happened in the UK since we voted to leave the EU in the 2016. It offends our sense of fair play, undermines our trust in politicians, civil servants and the voting system, and is destructive of that bedrock of our society, our democracy. The Mother of Parliaments has been filled for the past three years with scheming, anti-democratic, careerist party functionaries, not respecting and implementing a people’s vote and betraying the nation. We simply do not want to find that we have re-formed a House of Commons that is once again Remain-dominated after this election. The country is crying out for change and an end to the Punch & Judy politics of Labour and the Tories.” As well as Brexit, his key policies centre around electoral reform and a fairer funding system for Bristol to aid businesses and individuals.
Bristol South: Conservative
According to Conservativehome.com, ‘ Richard Morgan runs his own Leadership & Management Training Consultancy and is currently Leader of the Conservative Group on Cotswold District Council. He says that ‘If elected on 12 December, I would do everything possible to support small businesses in our area, and in particular support our local high streets. I voted to leave the European Union in 2016, and I believe the uncertainty around Brexit needs to end as quickly as possible so I would support the Prime Minister in getting Brexit done and giving certainty and clarity to Bristol’s business community.’ He also says that he ‘cares passionately about the NHS and absolutely support the principle that the NHS should always be free at the point of need.’
Bristol South: Labour
Karin Smyth joined the Labour party in 1985 and in 2015, was elected as the MP for Bristol South. In her constituency, Karin ‘does a lot of work in improving post-16 education for young people in Bristol South, putting on an annual apprenticeships fair’. In addition to this, Karin ‘covers healthcare, pushing for greater transparency and accountability in the NHS and pushing for the services Bristol South needs to address the health inequality here’. In addition to her work as a politician, she says that “developing deep community links, supportive networks, experiencing the ups and downs of family life has taught me more about public representation and politics than studying for a politics degree or 30 years of activism.”
Bristol South: Liberal Democrats
Andrew Brown is a member of the City of Bristol Liberal Democrats and is an LGBTQ+ executive for the party. He says that in terms of Brexit, ’first and foremast, the Liberal Democrats want to Stop Brexit and a vote for me is a vote to fight to remain in the European Union.’ In addition to this, his ‘priorities are 1) to promote measures to tackle Climate Change at all levels, from international to personal, 2) to address inequalities in our society through investment in people and places that have been "left behind", including younger people, and 3) to build communities, not just housing units. As a Liberal, I believe we should empower people to live their best lives, and I want to see Liberal values of equality, openness, and acceptance replace the current divisions within society.’
Bristol South: Green Party
Tony Dyer, from Hartcliffe, ‘is committed to seeing real and sustainable change for South Bristol’. According to the Green Party website, Tony says that ‘with my background in training, business development and investment in future infrastructure I know how to provide the structure necessary to create decent jobs and the infrastructure needed to encourage and support those jobs.’. In addition to this, Tony will ‘fight to ensure that the people of Bristol South have a final say on whatever deal the Prime Minister gets at the end of the Article 50 negotiations’ as well as fighting ‘to ensure that Bristol South receives its fair share of the funding that so often goes elsewhere.’
Robert de Vito Boutin
Bristol South: Brexit Party
Sixty-six years old and from Mousehole, near Penzance, Cornwall, de Vito Boutin has had a varied career before going into politics having been a headteacher, screenwriter, and, most recently, a Catholic missionary in west France. The Brexit Party candidate was originally going to run for St Ives in West Cornwall, then Truro when original candidate Paul Wood stood down, before finally Bristol South after Nigel Farage decided for the party not to contend Conservative strongholds.
He told Cornwall Live: ‘Whether you are in South Bristol or some parts of Cornwall the issues that matter to people are the same. In these areas there is a lot of poverty. People worry about the NHS, mental health provision, social care and employment opportunities.
‘I'm looking forward to meeting the people of South Bristol and find out what the issues that matter to them are. There is so much division in the country at the moment it’s more important to have the right heart.
‘The Conservatives don't care about the issues that matter to people. Brexit is important as there are so many things we can't do so long as we're still inside the EU.
‘There are too many career politicians who are not interested in what goes on outside the Westminster bubble. But people are feeling disenfranchised. We have real people in the Brexit Party with real jobs.’