Bristol mayor Marvin Rees wants to stand as an MP in next election

Marvin Rees hopes to become Labour candidate for the new 'Bristol North East' constituency.

Marvin Rees says he is “putting his hat in the ring” to stand as an MP for Bristol North East – even though the new constituency has not yet been created.

The Labour mayor of Bristol will leave his current role when his term ends in 2024.

He previously confirmed he would not stand for re-election when his term ends before people voted to scrap the role completely in a referendum in favour of a committee system.

Mr Rees has now said he hopes to run for election as a Labour MP in the next general election.

In an interview with the BBC, he said he “wouldn’t have gone around the country looking for a seat” because he “wouldn’t have felt authentic” moving elsewhere.

But not only is Mr Rees’s nomination as the party’s official candidate far from a done deal, there are several other factors to overcome.

The Boundary Commission is scrapping the Kingswood constituency and carving it in two as the Parliamentary map is redrawn. The seat is currently held by Conservative MP Chris Skidmore, who is not seeking reelection.

Traditionally-Conservative areas like Hanham and Warmley are moving into Jacob Rees-Mogg’s North East Somerset seat while stronger Labour heartlands such as Staple Hill and Kingswood become part of Bristol North East. The other half of the new Bristol North East constituency will sit within Bristol’s city boundaries, including left-leaning strongholds Fishponds and Eastville.

But before this can happen, the Boundary Commission has to present its final recommendations to Parliament, which is expected in July, with the changes taking place in the autumn following the required changes in law.

If Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calls a general election before this, though, it is likely existing seats will be contested.

Mr Rees first hinted he might stand in Bristol North East to BBC Radio Bristol’s John Darvall in November. He confirmed this during his latest interview on the mid-morning show.

The host asked: “There is a seat that is yet to be created because it needs to be legislated for – is that the seat you’re going for if it’s there?”

Mr Rees replied: “I am putting my hat in the ring now, having gone through the family discussion about it.

“I wouldn’t have gone around the country looking for a seat.

“It’s only attractive to me because it is Bristol and I have my family here, so we wouldn’t have moved practically anyway.

“I wouldn’t have felt authentic running off to another part of the country, learning about their issues and then regurgitating them, convincing them I was interested.

“Bristol North East is the one.”

Mr Darvall asked: “So if that seat is created, an election maybe in May next year, possibly the autumn or likely to be the autumn of 2024, that’s the seat you’re going to go for as the candidate for Labour?”

The mayor replied: “Yes, it is.”

Credit: Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service