THE two main candidates in the Meon Valley constituency have been selected for the General Election.

Sir George Hollingbery has been unanimously re-adopted as the Conservative candidate to fight the seat on December 12.

Lewis North has been chosen by the Lib Dems. Originally from Cheriton near Alresford he has twice fought city council seats within the constituency.

The constituency’s Conservative Association (MVCA) confirmed Mr Hollingbery’s appointment following a recent secret ballot of party members at Meon Hall in Meonstoke.

Sir George has been the MP since the constituency’s inception in 2010. At the 2017 General Election, his majority was 25,692.

He said: “I’m thrilled to be formally re-adopted as the Conservative candidate for this fantastic place and look forward to an election campaign when it is announced. To represent the Meon Valley for the last nine years has been a real honour and I hope to be able do so in the next parliament.

“I pledge to continue to support my constituents in every way I can, be an effective voice for the many excellent businesses in the Meon Valley and a champion for the rural economy and the environment.”

Lewis North slashed the Tory majority from 882 to 124 at last September’s Winchester City Council's Meon Valley by-election.  He said: “We are going to mount the biggest challenge to the Conservatives that the Meon Valley has ever seen.

“I believe voters will respond well to having a local and energetic candidate who was born and raised in the Meon Valley and is devoted to our area.

“This election really counts. It doesn’t have to be another five years of Conservative cuts and austerity. We can change the future direction of this country.”

MVCA chairman Owen Edwards added: “Since he was elected in 2010, George has been a fantastic MP for the Meon Valley. He has faced some of the most difficult political times and has always been a strong and principled voice for our area.”  “I am delighted the Meon Valley Conservative Association has unanimously voted to re-adopt him.”