A PARLIAMENTARY candidate for Penrith and Border has finally been selected by the Conservative party.

The announcement comes after the process to select a Tory candidate for the area was left in chaos following concerns over how the shortlist had been drawn up at the weekend.

Members from the Penrith and the Border Conservative Association's executive said procedural issues over the selection of the shortlist "compromised their integrity" and so walked out of a private meeting.

While the area has been a Tory stronghold for several years, earlier this year the seat was thrown into disarray when previous MP Rory Stewart rebelled against the Government over Brexit and had the whip withdrawn.

Neil Hudson has since been selected to stand for the Tories in the upcoming General Election.

Mr Hudson has pledged to stand up for the rural economy, ensuring farming is protected post-Brexit, and ensuring that rural communities across the region are protected.

Also among the focus of the campaign will be to create more job opportunities, increase flood protection and improve transport links in the county.

Neil - who works as a vet - also wants to encourage young people to stay in the area through skills training and apprenticeships and see better broadband coverage.

Following his selection, Neil said: “The issues facing rural communities are of particular concern to me.

“Penrith and the Border is a vast and sparsely populated constituency.

"Communities need effective linkages and I will champion these issues including improving road access and conditions like the A66, improving train links, protecting rural bus services from Lib Dem/Labour Council cuts and improving digital connectivity.

“I will fight to protect services vital to rural areas such as post offices, banking services and telephone boxes.

"I will stand up for constituents struggling to find a place on the housing ladder.

"I will do everything I can to boost the economy, whilst protecting our beautiful and fragile environment.

“The Conservative Party is the party of opportunity. I am passionate about the life chances of our young people and want to help a society where any child can achieve their dream no matter what their background.”

Candidates already confirmed for the Penrith and the Border seat are:

  • Jonathan Davies, Putting Cumbria First
  • Ali Ross, Green Party
  • Matthew Severn, Liberal Democrats
  • Sarah Williams, Labour