Dan Norris

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Dan Norris
Dan Norris MP (white background).jpg
Member of Parliament
for Wansdyke
In office
1 May 1997 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by Jack Aspinwall
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1960-01-28) 28 January 1960 (age 56)
London, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater University of Sussex
Religion Quaker[1]
Website www.dannorris.org.uk

Dan Norris (born 28 January 1960) is a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wansdyke from 1997 until 2010. He was also a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Early life[edit]

Norris was educated at Chipping Sodbury Comprehensive School and the University of Sussex, where he read a Master's in Social Work (MSW).[2] He is a former teacher and child protection officer having trained with the NSPCC.

Before Parliament[edit]

Norris was a councillor on Bristol City Council[3] from 1989-92 / 1995-97 and Avon County Council from 1994–96,[1] and he is a member of the GMB Union.[4]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Norris first stood for parliament in the constituency of Northavon in 1987, losing against the Conservative incumbent, Sir John Cope. In 1992, he was the Labour candidate for Wansdyke, leapfrogging the Liberal Democrats to take Labour from third to second place against the Conservative incumbent, Jack Aspinwall.

He contested the Wansdyke seat once more in the 1997 election, and this time succeeded in taking a traditionally safe Conservative seat by 4,799 votes, overturning a majority of 11,770 votes.[1] Whilst Norris went on to increase his majority to 5,613 in the 2001 election, the 2005 election saw his lead over the Conservatives fall to 1,839. Due to changes made by the Boundary Commission for England, the Wansdyke constituency was abolished at the 2010 election. Norris stood instead for North East Somerset, but was defeated by Jacob Rees-Mogg (C).

During his time in Parliament, Norris was an assistant whip from 2001 to 2003. In July 2007 he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, a role he had previously performed for Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Hain. In the reshuffle of June 2009 Norris entered the Government as a minister for the first time, becoming Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

As a backbencher, prior to taking on a PPS role in June 2006, Norris had the highest voting record of any MP - attending 97% of all votes[5] Norris' voting records show that he is in favour of: crime reduction measures; a tougher line being taken against child sexual abuse; the smoking ban; the introduction of ID cards, rather than a UK Border police force; introducing additional GP hours to allow patient access during evenings and at weekends, patient choice of hospital, and cutting NHS waiting list times; introducing foundation hospitals; student top-up fees; anti-terrorism laws and migration controls; the Iraq war; not having an investigation into the Iraq war; replacing trident; the hunting ban and animal welfare measures; and gay rights.[6]

Norris was one of just 25 out of the 121 MPs who voted on Freedom of Information laws supporting its application to MPs' allowances at the Third Reading vote on 18 May 2007.[7] Norris has a particular interest in child safety and regularly campaigns against child sexual abuse, having co-written a free booklet on its prevention. He also co-wrote, produced and distributed a booklet aimed at giving practical advice to children across the UK about dealing with bullying entitled Don't Bully Me.[8]

Following his defeat at the 2010 general election, Norris turned his attention to working for former Foreign Secretary David Miliband in his ultimately unsuccessful bid for the Labour leadership.

Norris is an ambassador for the children's charity Kidscape.[9]


  • Violence Against Social Workers: The Implications for Practice, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1989 (with Carol Kedward). ISBN 978-1-85302-041-4


  1. ^ a b c White, Michael (28 December 2000). "Labour roots in a rural Tory setting". Special report: elections 2000. The Guardian. Retrieved 10 May 2008. 
  2. ^ "NORRIS, Dan". Who's Who 2010 online edn. Oxford University Press. November 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "Bristol City Council Election Results for 4 May 1995 - Brislington West". Bristol City Council. Retrieved 6 July 2009. 
  4. ^ "GMB MP's". GMB Union. Archived from the original on 16 February 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2008. 
  5. ^ "Archive.org record of http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/dan_norris/wansdyke for June 2006". Archived from the original on 29 June 2006.  External link in |title= (help)
  6. ^ http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/dan_norris/wansdyke#votingrecord
  7. ^ "Dan Norris's vote on the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill – Third Reading – 18 May 2007 at 13:46". The Public Whip. Retrieved 3 November 2008. 
  8. ^ "Council's irresponsible and dangerous approach to bullying slammed by child campaigning West MP". Kidscape. 23 November 2005. Retrieved 10 May 2008. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 

External links[edit]

News items[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Jack Aspinwall
Member of Parliament for Wansdyke
1997 - 2010
Succeeded by
Jacob Rees-Mogg
(as MP for North East Somerset)