DDr Rebecca Montacute grew up in the constituency, in Bishop Sutton in the Chew Valley. She attended local state schools, Bishop Sutton Primary and Chew Valley School. She was the first person in her family to go to university, going on to gain a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Manchester.

Rebecca is currently the Head of Research and Policy at a national education charity, working to open-up opportunities in education for young people from poorer homes. She regularly represents the charity on national media outlets, including BBC and Sky News, and has given evidence to Select Committees in parliament. She’s a national expert on early education, schools, apprenticeships and access to the workplace.

In 2018, Rebecca’s mum Julie passed away following failures in mental health care locally. The fight for justice for her mum, and for better services across Somerset, is what has inspired Rebecca to run. She said: “I’ve seen first hand the devastating consequences when public services fail, having lost my mum after failures in mental health care here in the constituency. I fought for justice for her, and for improvements to mental health care across Somerset. Everyone deserves high quality public services they can rely on, whether it’s health care, social care, childcare, education or local public transport. This is the place I fought for justice for my mum. As your Labour candidate and your MP, I will fight just as hard for you.”

Over the last few months, Rebecca has been out regularly with members from the local Labour party, speaking to voters across the constituency, including in Hanham, Keynsham, Warmley, Oldland Common, Timsbury, Temple Cloud, Paulton and Bishop Sutton.

Local Labour party member Megan Perry, who lives in Pensford, has known Rebecca for more than 20 years. She said “Rebecca has always been someone with integrity who stands up and fights for what is right. Her passion and determination are just what this constituency needs - a true voice for the people.”

Rebecca has also been backed by local mental health campaigners. Sarah Rooke lost her son, Luke, when he was under the care of local mental health services. She said “I met Rebecca through our mutual experiences of mental health systems in Somerset. People are being failed daily, and considerable change is needed. I have the upmost confidence in Rebecca to bring about those changes, and to stop others being failed in the way our loved ones were.”

As the area’s MP, Rebecca’s priorities would be reducing the cost of living for constituents, improvements to local NHS services, measures to tackle climate change while lowering energy bills, and improving public transport in the area. More information on Rebecca’s campaign is available at https://www.voterebecca.co.uk/