General Election 2024: The North Somerset candidates in their own words

The candidates standing in North Somerset (clockwise from top left) Sadik Al-Hassan (Labour), Ash Cartman (Liberal Democrat), Liam Fox (Conservative, from his 2017 official portrait), Oscar Livesey Lodwick (Green), and Alexander Kokkinoftas (Reform UK). Also standing but not pictured is Suneil Basu (Workers Party)
-Credit: (Image: (Clockwise from top left) Sadik Al-Hassan, Ash Cartman, Chris McAcndrew CC BY 3.0, Oscar Livesey Lodwick, Alexander Kokkinoftas)

Five people are hoping to oust Somerset’s longest serving MP on July 4.

Liam Fox has been the MP for North Somerset for more than thirty years, first elected when the seat was still called Woodspring in 1992. This election, the veteran Conservative is one of six people standing for the seat.

All the major parties standing in England in this election have fielded candidates in the seat: Labour, George Galloway’s Workers Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Conservatives, Reform UK, and the Greens.

Here are the candidates in their own words:

Sadik Al-Hassan, Labour

Sadik Al-Hassan, Labour candidate for North Somerset -Credit:Sadik Al-Hassan
Sadik Al-Hassan, Labour candidate for North Somerset -Credit:Sadik Al-Hassan

As an award-winning local pharmacist and former councillor, I am committed to serving the community.

My two children are the reason I got into politics, to fight for a future in which they and all people in North Somerset have the opportunity to thrive.

I live in Bristol and am house hunting right now in Portishead.

As a healthcare professional I will prioritise rebuilding our NHS and a country of which we can all be proud. People in North Somerset deserve better.

I am ready to deliver the change we need.

Suneil Basu, Workers Party

My name is Suneil Basu, and I am standing as your candidate for the Workers Party of Britain in North Somerset.

I hope I find you well. I hope you are in a strong position to deal with living in modern Britain because I am guessing you know many others who are struggling. Even working families are struggling while those at the top of society just take more. Our system isn’t working and you know that Britain deserves better.

You are nervous about needing the hospital. You can see the homeless in the street. You know someone using a foodbank.You know people who are taking antidepressants. Why should so many exist in such precarious lives? This isn’t the weather of your childhood, climate change is real.

Our Political class do not serve the people, they serve the super rich.

Britain used to be a manufacturing powerhouse and it can be again. We must recreate manufacturing jobs as we wind down the finance sector. The cost of living crisis is anchored in price gouging rates for housing, transport, energy and food costs. We would re-nationalise the energy companies to bring down prices and invest in sustainable home-grown solutions. Re-nationalise the transport system, bringing nearly free public transport to all, using incentives rather than punitive taxes to get people out of their cars. Spread industry to all of Britain and not just the South East. Reverse the austerity on Local Authorities so we can have properly funded services. Shift the tax burden from working people to the spivs in the city and big landlords.

The UK economy doesn’t work like a household budget, the Pound is a ‘fiat currency’. We know austerity just makes things worse. Now is the time for investment.

I stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza. We support a single state solution.

I am committed to representing you with integrity and to the principles that our party stands for.

Ash Cartman, Liberal Democrat

Ash Cartman, Liberal Democrat candidate for North Somerset -Credit:Ash Cartman
Ash Cartman, Liberal Democrat candidate for North Somerset -Credit:Ash Cartman

I’ve lived in North Somerset with my family for over 15 years, it’s an incredible place to live and I can’t see myself living anywhere else. I grew up in Somerset and I love the West Country.

I never expected to be standing in a General Election. My background is as a Chartered Accountant, working with businesses to help them grow, prosper, and create jobs. However, 10 years ago I looked at the world and had an enormous sense that we were heading in the wrong direction, that the world my children were inheriting wasn’t as fair as the one I grew up in. That motivated me to do something.

I first joined my local Parish Council and then in 2019 was elected as a North Somerset Councillor. I was a member of the Cabinet until 2023 with responsibility for the council’s finances. It’s been an honour to serve the people of North Somerset and I’m proud of the work we did to protect local services. I’m also proud of the way we worked across political parties, putting aside differences to work for the benefit of all. That’s my style of politics. As a country I believe we need to move beyond the petty political point scoring we see so often on our televisions.

I decided to stand for Parliament to offer people a local and experienced alternative to Liam Fox and the Conservatives. I believe it’s important that our next MP has a connection with the area, has lived here, and knows the issues. That’s why I’m so disappointed that our Labour candidate has only just been appointed and doesn’t even live in North Somerset. That’s not the style of politics I stand for. I believe to represent people you need to be one of them. It would be an honour to represent the people of North Somerset. Over the past few years, I have fought for the things you care about, if elected I promise to carry on fighting for you nationally as I have done locally.

Liam Fox, Conservative

Liam Fox, Conservative candidate for North East Somerset from his 2017 official portrait -Credit:Chris McAcndrew CC BY 3.0
Liam Fox, Conservative candidate for North East Somerset from his 2017 official portrait -Credit:Chris McAcndrew CC BY 3.0

The Local Democracy Reporting Service was unable to get a response from Liam Fox. His website states:

“Sir Liam Fox was first elected in 1992 and lives locally in Tickenham. He holds regular surgeries for constituents in Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead and Yatton and has a reputation as a hard-working constituency MP.

“He worked as a GP in Nailsea before becoming a member of Parliament and has held high office in both opposition and government. He has the experience inside and outside Parliament we need for good government.

“Liam has been at the centre of local campaigns such as the defence of the green belt, especially around Long Ashton, Dundry and Failand. He has been a leading figure in the local battles such as the electricity pylons affecting Backwell, Nailsea and Yatton. In Parliament he has campaigned for a Portishead railway link and famously described Portishead as the biggest cul-de-sac in Britain .

“He is patron of a large number of local organisations and charities including Mencap, Children's Hospice South West, Clevedon Pier, Portishead lifeboat, the Jessie May Trust, the Curzon Cinema and numerous sports clubs.”

Alexander Kokkinoftas, Reform UK

Alexander Kokkinoftas, Reform UK candidate for North Somerset -Credit:Alexander Kokkinoftas
Alexander Kokkinoftas, Reform UK candidate for North Somerset -Credit:Alexander Kokkinoftas

I'm Alexander Kokkinoftas, I am an ex student of Clevedon School. This time last year I finished my A - Levels and was deciding which path to take in life. I never dreamed one year later I would be standing as a candidate in my very first general election.

Born in Cyprus, I moved to England in 2018 for the wealth of opportunities this country brought.

We have an amazing culture and a rich fascinating history which has always been my passion. I have enjoyed the chance to visit so many historical places and landmarks.

I live in North Somerset, one of the most beautiful places in the country, with its close knit communities and picturesque villages.

My interest for British history also gave me an insight into the workings of British politics. This fired my interest in the current political situation our country found itself in after the events of Brexit and Covid.

As I saw how people were reacting towards political leaders I looked closer into politics as I knew soon I was going to have to vote for one of them.

People were fed up with having their hard earned money wasted on ridiculous decisions made by the local councils, I sympathised with the frustrations of trying to get a doctor or dental appointment and I have witnessed first hand the strain on the NHS.

I wasn't inspired by the Conservatives or any of the other party's policies except for Reform UK.

In my opinion they seemed to have the answers to the problems people in this country, of all ages, from all areas and in various kinds of employment currently faced.

The leaders seemed to care and were passionate about keeping Britain Great, lowering taxes, improving the NHS, fixing our energy crisis and considering the strain mass immigration is causing on our local services.

These leaders inspired me to stand up when necessary and be involved in making a positive change. I want to be involved in my community locally and my country nationally.

Oscar Livesey Lodwick, Green

Oscar Livesey Lodwick, Green candidate for North Somerset -Credit:Oscar Livesey Lodwick
Oscar Livesey Lodwick, Green candidate for North Somerset -Credit:Oscar Livesey Lodwick

What I want to achieve in North Somerset

  • Empower the local council to put much needed funding into public services

  • Seek solutions for local issues such as the long drawn out Railway link in Portishead, the EPIC Development in Long Ashton and providing a lift for Nailsea and Backwell station

  • Give small businesses the platform and support to thrive

  • Give you a public transport infrastructure to be proud of

  • Protect North Somerset’s natural environment !

We have an MP of 32 years and a Labour candidate parachuted in from south Bristol . Choose a local candidate who will do his best to represent your local issues!

From the Area . For the Area