Labour selects its new general election candidate for Norwich North
- Credit: supplied by Karen Davis
City councillor Karen Davis has been selected as Labour's new parliamentary candidate for Norwich North.
Ms Davis was chosen as Labour's Norwich North candidate at a meeting at St Andrew's and Blackfriar's Hall in Norwich on Saturday, beating East of England MEP and long-term party activist Alex Mayer and fellow city councillor and Norwich Labour Party vice-president Beth Jones who had also been shortlisted.
The constituency is currently represented by Conservative MP Chloe Smith and, with a slender Tory majority of 507 in the last general election, it is one of the Labour Party's key target seats.
Ms Davis, who represents the Town Close ward on Norwich City Council and is the authority's cabinet member for social inclusion, said she was both 'thrilled' and 'a bit shell-shocked' to have been chosen as Labour's parliamentary candidate and that she was ready for the challenge.
'I am very proud. I want to take the fight to Chloe [Smith] and the Tories. I am ready for it,' she said.
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'My priorities for Norwich will be housing, the NHS and education. I really want to see the end to academies [in education].'
Ms Davis, a former teacher who studied an English Literature degree and a PGCE at the University of East Anglia, added: 'I want to see an education system where parents, children and teachers are involved and everyone has a say, including the children. I just think the whole thing [to do with academies] needs to come to an end.'
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She said she would campaign to stop the privatisation of the NHS and that, with regards to housing, she would like to see the introduction of rent caps
'The government needs to give local authorities money to borrow for social housing because at the moment all you can get money for is investment,' she added.
Ms Davis, 44, has lived in Norwich for 20 years and has been a Norwich city councillor since 2016. She also helps run a community cafe called the Sunday Social at Suffolk Square, in Norwich, each week where people in need can come for advice and a meal. Ms Davis grew up in Hunstanton and now lives in Eaton with her partner Ian Stutely and their 15-year-old daughter Tabitha.
The last general election was in June and, with general elections usually taking place every five years, the next one is likely to be in 2022 but could be called earlier.