Conservatives announce candidate for Kingswood by-election

THE Conservative Party has chosen its candidate for the Kingswood by-election.

South Gloucestershire councillor Sam Bromiley will take on the challenge of defending the seat vacated by former Tory minister Chris Skidmore, who triggered the by-election when he resigned as an MP on January 5 over the government’s plans to allow new oil and gas production in the North Sea.

Parkwall & Warmley ward councillor Sam is the Conservative group leader on South Gloucestershire Council.

He said: “I am honoured to have been selected to represent the area I grew up in and where I have lived all my life.  

“I am committed to serving our local area, by growing our local economy, protecting our  green spaces, and giving people the tools and the choice to work hard and achieve. 

“I have lived here my whole life, first in Hanham and now Longwell Green.

“If I am elected, I will work hard to stop Labour’s disastrous plan to build on the greenbelt. I want to work with our local community rather than imposing further unwanted developments upon them. 

“This area has always been my home and I want to deliver for my community by bringing  more investment, supporting our small businesses, and protecting our green spaces.” 

Conservative Party chairman Richard Holden (front, left) with Kingswood by-election candidate Sam Bromiley

Conservative Party chairman Richard Holden said: “Sam will make a fantastic Conservative candidate for Kingswood. He is born and bred local,  and he knows that people deserve a local MP who stands up for them.” 

The Tories are the second party to announce their candidate for the by-election, which will take place on February 15.

Last week Labour announced it had picked Damien Egan as its candidate.

The former Downend and Bromley Heath Parish Councillor, who grew up in Kingswood, has been the elected mayor of Lewisham in London since 2018 and was selected last year to stand for Labour in the new Bristol North East seat, which will replace part of the Kingswood constituency at the next general election.

The Liberal Democrats and Greens are expected to announce candidates later this week.

Mr Skidmore said he was standing down over the government’s Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill.

The former energy minister said that, having signed the UK’s commitment to net zero carbon emissions into law, he could “no longer condone nor continue to support a government that is committed to a course of action that I know is wrong and will cause future harm”.

The by-election is one of two being held on February 15, where Labour will attempt to overturn a big Tory majority to put further pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, in a year when a general election must be called.

Whoever wins the by-election will only be the MP for Kingswood for a matter of months, as the constituency is due to be abolished at the next general election.

Reform UK, the successor to the Brexit Party, has said it will not contest the by-election for that reason, branding it a “grotesque abuse of taxpayers’ cash”.