Labour's Dan Norris has been working hard all year round for local people and the Labour Party over 30 years, campaigning and serving in and around North East Somerset and Bristol.
Dan served on Bristol City Council and Avon County Council in the 1990s, having won seats from both the Tories and Lib Dems on those councils.
Dan is a former teacher and child protection officer. He has also written and lectured extensively on the prevention and reduction of violence.
Elected as Labour Member of Parliament for Wansdyke in May 1997, Dan gained the biggest increase in Labour's share of the vote in the South West. He was re-elected in June 2001 with an increased majority over the Tories. He won a third term of office at the May 2005 General Election. At all three elections, the Lib Dems finished in a poor, distant third place.
Significant boundary changes in 2010 removed Dan's majority, turning the new North East Somerset constituency into a Conservative seat. Nonetheless, the new seat saw just about the lowest Labour-to-Tory swing in any of the South West region's 'key marginals.
Dan's vital national experience
In 2001 Dan became an Assistant Government Whip - a position he held until he stood down in 2003 to spend more time focusing on constituency work.
In summer 2007 Dan was appointed to be Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, having carried out a similar role for Peter Hain when he was Northern Ireland Secretary. Dan's vital national experience therefore includes working with the most difficult of people as part of the successful Northern Ireland peace process.
He subsequently served in the Labour Government as Minister for Rural Affairs and Environment at DEFRA, working closely with Hilary Benn..
Dan's campaigning and community liaison
As MP for Wansdyke Dan held more than 1,000 surgeries, twice-weekly, in all parts of his large constituency. He also ran street stalls, coffee mornings and other events, working hard to stay in touch with local concerns. No other West Country MP had - or even now has - such a busy schedule of contact with constituents. His hard work was highlighted by his very high record of voting in Parliamentary debates.
He also wrote hundreds and hundreds of 'first person' opinion columns for local news publications, blazing a trail for this method of communication many years before it became a routine part of the local newspaper scene.
As Labour MP Dan was active in a number of key areas and became a familiar face and voice in local media championing Labour values. Just a few of these are:
- Banning hunting with hounds
- Child protection - his anti-bullying booklet and his publication aimed at helping parents better protect their children against paedophiles are widely regarded as the best in their field
- Compensation for West Country ex-miners
- Freedom of information (FOI) - Dan was the only West Country MP who voted in the Commons against exempting MPs from FOI legislation (May 2007). He was also understood to be the first West Country MP to publish details of how much it cost to do his job as a busy MP.
Dan also has an outstanding track record of working closely with partner organisations - public, private and voluntary sector to deliver community projects such as his pioneering Community Champions scheme, and ground-breaking child protection and anti-bullying booklets: His partnership working enabled these to be produced and circulated to families completely free of charge.
Dan has fought and won election campaigns for Labour, always against the odds; he has used his position as a government minister to bring real change; and has walked (and run!) hundreds of miles knocking on doors talking and listening to local people.
Dan has ideas, energy and passion and vital national experience.