WINCHESTER Conservatives have tonight selected Flick Drummond to be their candidate in the General Election due next year.

Mrs Drummond is currently the MP for the Meon Valley, a constituency that will disappear in boundary changes at the next election.

Members of the local party met this evening at Shawford Village Hall.

Mrs Drummond's Meon Valley constituency will be submerged into other constituencies including Winchester.

As the sitting MP in a seat that will comprise 26 per cent of the new constituency she was the only candidate at the selection meeting.

Party members from across the constuency could have rejected her and opted for a selection meeting with other candidates but instead selected Mrs Drummond.

She has strong local links. She married in Bishop's Waltham in 1987 and lived in Winchester in large part between 1988-2008 and was a Winchester city councillor between 1996-2000 before serving as  Portsmouth South MP from 2015-17 and in the Meon Valley since 2019.

In 2005 she contested the Southampton Itchen losing to John Denham and lost Portsmouth South to Mike Hancock in 2010.

She recently lost the battle to be selected for the new Fareham constituency being beaten by the home secretary Suella Braverman.

At the next General Election Mrs Drummond will oppose the Liberal Democrat candidate Danny Chambers.

She replaces Steve Brine as the Conservative candidate. He first won the seat in 2010 and is standing down at the next election.

Winchester was held by Lib Dem Mark Oaten from 1997 to 2010. It had been a Tory stronghold since 1950. Labour won the seat in 1945 when it was Winchester and Eastleigh.

Winchester Conservative Association chair Matthew Pellereau said: “We are proud and honoured to have Flick as our candidate. 

“She’s a local girl who knows the city and the district intimately. She is also someone with an impressive record of achievement and great experience in public life. 

“Many residents in the new Winchester constituency can testify to her hard work, especially those who now have super-fast broadband or fewer speeding and noisy motorbikes in their communities all because of Flick’s effectiveness and desire to help those she represents.

“She is a woman committed to public service and has done so with honour and integrity for many years. Nothing speaks to that more than her stated wish to only want to represent an area she knows; that she has a connection with and where she has lived and worked and represented before as either the MP or a city councillor.

“We are ready to give her all the support she needs to be the next Conservative MP for this great city and district because we know she will work tirelessly and with honesty and integrity for every resident in return.”

Mrs Drummond said: “I would like to thank the association for the warm reception I have received and for members’ faith in me to be their candidate.

“This is a homecoming in many ways but also simply a small move because of my work as Meon Valley MP. Many thousands of people already have me representing them and I hope that will continue while I can build on the immense honour of working to be the next MP for this most amazing city – the county town of Hampshire - and quite simply the place I know so well and love.

“The challenge now is to go out and make the case for sensible, moderate Conservative values and policies that will bring voters to our party. There should be no desire or need to fight the battles of the past but to only move forward as a constituency and as a country.

“I cannot wait to get started and I thank everyone for putting their good wishes and pledges of support. 

"I would again like to express my thanks and good wishes to Steve Brine who has so ably represented the constituency for so many years.”