Dan Norris

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Dan Norris
Dan Norris MP (white background).jpg
Mayor of the West of England
Assumed office
10 May 2021
Preceded byTim Bowles
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Environment
In office
9 June 2009 – 6 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byJoan Ruddock
Succeeded byRichard Benyon (Natural Environment, Water and Rural Affairs)
Member of Parliament
for Wansdyke
In office
1 May 1997 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byJack Aspinwall
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1960-01-28) 28 January 1960 (age 61)
London, England
Political partyLabour
Alma materUniversity of Sussex

Dan Norris (born 28 January 1960) is a British Labour Party politician serving as the Mayor of the West of England since May 2021. He previously served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Wansdyke from 1997 to 2010.

Norris served in government as the Parliamentary-Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Environment from 2009 to 2010, and an assistant whip from 2001 to 2003.

Early life[edit]

Dan Norris was born on 28 January 1960 in London to parents June Noris and David Norris.[1][2] His mother was a Labour councillor who stood as the candidate for the Northavon constituency in the 1983 general election and the 1992 general election. His father worked as a sales manager and as a social worker.[1] Norris was educated at Chipping Sodbury Comprehensive School and the University of Sussex, where he completed a master's degree in social work.[3] He is a former teacher and child protection officer, having trained with the NSPCC.[1]

Before parliament[edit]

Norris was a councillor on Bristol City Council from 1989 to 1992 and from 1995 to 1997, and a councillor on Avon County Council from 1993 to 1996, for the Brislington West ward.[4][5][6] He is a member of the GMB trade union.[7]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Norris first stood for parliament in the constituency of Northavon in 1987, losing against the Conservative incumbent, John Cope. In 1992, he was the Labour candidate for Wansdyke in Somerset, coming in second place against the Conservative incumbent, Jack Aspinwall. He contested the Wansdyke seat again in the election of 1997, and this time succeeded in taking it with a majority of 4,799, overturning a Conservative majority of 11,770 votes.[5] Norris went on to increase his majority to 5,613 in the election of 2001.

Norris has a particular interest in child safety and regularly campaigns against child sexual abuse,[8] having co-written a free booklet on its prevention. He also co-wrote, produced and distributed a booklet, Don't Bully Me, giving practical advice to children across the United Kingdom on dealing with bullying.[9]

Norris was an assistant whip for the Treasury from June 2001 to June 2003.[8][10] In May 2006 he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Hain until June 2007, then PPS to Foreign Secretary David Miliband to January 2009.[11] In the reshuffle of June 2009 Norris entered government as a minister for the first time, becoming Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Minister for Rural Affairs and Environment).[12]

The 2005 general 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 the North East Somerset seat which covered most of the same area, but was defeated by the Conservative candidate Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Later career[edit]

Following his defeat at the 2010 general election, Norris worked for David Miliband in his unsuccessful bid for the Labour leadership.[13] In May 2012, Norris was shortlisted to be the Labour Party candidate for the Bristol mayoral election, but did not win the selection.[14] As of 2016 he was Head of Operations for the Russell Group of Universities.[15] Norris was critical of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party's handling of antisemitism, stating in an op-ed for the Bristol Post, "today’s Labour leadership seems to have become highly uncomfortable in opposing racism when it is directed at Jewish people".[16] Norris is an ambassador for the children's charity Kidscape.[17][18] In 2004, Norris was appointed to the board of the Snowdon Trust, a charity that supports students with physical disabilities.[13]

Mayor of the West of England[edit]


Norris was selected as the Labour Party candidate on 16 November 2020, defeating Bristol councillor Helen Godwin in a vote of local members by 1,611 votes to 1,558.[19] During the election campaign, the leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer visited Bath to campaign with him. They were asked to leave a pub by its landlord, who opposed the use of lockdowns as part of the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[20]

During the election campaign, Norris said that incumbent mayor Tim Bowles was the "only metro mayor who doesn't have more powers than when he started", and that if elected he would seek more money and powers from central government.[21] He said he would establish a "Green Recovery Fund" to create 23,000 jobs by investing in "home retrofitting, tree-planting, flood and drought defences, and renewable energy".[22]


Norris was elected as the mayor of the West of England in the 2021 West of England mayoral election, a role which had previously been held by the Conservative Tim Bowles.[23] He credited his victory to the leadership of Keir Starmer.[23]

He said he would support North Somerset and parts of Somerset joining the combined authority, and he that would seek additional funds for them.[24]


  • 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 Roth, Andrew; Criddle, Byron (1998). "Dan NORRIS, WANSDYKE '97-" (PDF). Parliamentary Profiles: Four Volume Set. Parliamentary Profile Services Ltd. ISBN 9780900582431. Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  2. ^ "Norris, Dan, (born 28 Jan. 1960)". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U29681. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  3. ^ "NORRIS, Dan". Who's Who 2010 online edn. Oxford University Press. November 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Bristol City Council Election Results for 4 May 1995 - Brislington West". Bristol City Council. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
  5. ^ a b White, Michael (28 December 2000). "Labour roots in a rural Tory setting". Special report: elections 2000. The Guardian. Retrieved 10 May 2008.
  6. ^ Rallings, Colin; Thrasher, Michael (1993). Local Elections Handbook 1993 (PDF). The Elections Centre (Report). Plymouth University. p. 17. Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  7. ^ "GMB MP's". GMB Union. Archived from the original on 16 February 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2008.
  8. ^ a b "Dan Norris". BBC News. 16 October 2002. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Council's irresponsible and dangerous approach to bullying slammed by child campaigning West MP". Kidscape. 23 November 2005. Archived from the original on 17 April 2008. Retrieved 10 May 2008.
  10. ^ "Parliamentary career for Dan Norris - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament". members.parliament.uk. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  11. ^ "Dan Norris". TheyWorkForYou. mySociety. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  12. ^ "Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State - Dan Norris MP (Minister for Rural Affairs and Environment)". Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 9 December 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2010.
  13. ^ a b "Our Board - Dan Norris". Snowdon Trust. 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  14. ^ Amanda Ramsay (25 May 2012). "Profile of Labour's candidates for the Bristol mayoralty: Dan Norris". Labour Uncut. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  15. ^ Brown, David (10 August 2016). "Universities chief's free, five-star Singapore trip". The Times. London. Retrieved 28 April 2021. Dan Norris, 56, a former Labour MP and head of operations at the Russell Group
  16. ^ Norris, Dan (13 November 2018). "My shock and horror at Labour's antisemitism - former Bristol MP". Bristol Post. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  17. ^ "Kidscape Staff, Trustees, Patrons, Volunteers". Kidscape. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
  18. ^ "Management, patrons and ambassadors". Kidscape. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  19. ^ Rodgers, Sienna (16 November 2020). "Dan Norris selected as Labour's West of England mayoral candidate". LabourList. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  20. ^ "Sir Keir Starmer kicked out of pub and Boris Johnson appears to forget name of Tory incumbent on difficult day of campaigning". Sky News. 19 April 2021. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  21. ^ "West of England metro mayor election: Meet the candidates". ITV News. 20 April 2021. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  22. ^ "A green jobs revolution must go beyond construction and manufacturing". The Bristol Cable. 20 April 2021. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  23. ^ a b "Labour's Dan Norris wins West of England mayor election". The Guardian. 8 May 2021. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  24. ^ "West of England Mayor Dan Norris hopes to safeguard jobs and businesses". BBC News. 11 May 2021. Retrieved 16 May 2021.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Jack Aspinwall
Member of Parliament
for Wansdyke

Constituency abolished