By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter
Mayor of Lewisham Damien Egan has announced his bid to become an MP 120 miles away in Bristol.
Mr Egan revealed he was standing to be Labour candidate for the new constituency of Bristol North East today.
Mr Egan, who grew up around the south-west city, will challenge Bristol’s current mayor Marvin Rees to be selected as candidate for what is expected to be a safe Labour seat.
Bristol voters chose to abolish Mr Rees’s current role in a referendum last year. Mr Rees, 51, will be out of a job from next year.
Mr Egan, 40, was elected to a second term as Lewisham mayor in May 2022 with an increased majority, sweeping to victory with 58 per cent of the vote.
He became a councillor in the borough in 2010 and in 2014 was appointed cabinet member for housing before being elected mayor the first time in 2018.
Mr Egan said he would stay on as mayor of Lewisham while he campaigns to be Labour candidate for Bristol North East but would temporarily reduce his hours.
“I will maintain my regular meetings with the acting chief executive, cabinet, uphold key public engagements I’ve committed to and my meet-the-mayor public sessions,” he said in a statement on Lewisham Labour’s website.
He said he would delegate more internal meetings to deputy mayor Brenda Dacres and council cabinet members during his campaign.
“The timetable is short for this selection, we feel we can maintain these temporary arrangements until the selection process is complete, which is expected to be by mid to late July,” Mr Egan added.
As of this morning, mayor Egan’s Twitter biography had erased all mention of his role as Lewisham mayor and updated his location to Bristol.
His new biography on the site reads: “from Bristol North East and running to be our new Labour parliamentary candidate.”
Mr Egan’s campaign website highlights his record on housing, schools and the environment as mayor of Lewisham, which he described as “one of London’s most complex boroughs.”
It continues: “I believe there’s a better way to do politics; working with people to make real, lasting change. That’s what I’ve done in Lewisham: where we’ve turned our schools around, built council homes, created award winning parks and led on climate action, becoming the first sanctuary borough for refugees and defeating the Tories, Greens and Lib Dems time after time.”
Pictured top: Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham (Picture: Lewisham council)
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