The Conservatives have announced their candidate for February's Campden and Vale by-election.

Tom Stowe will stand for election to Cotswold District Council following the expulsion of fellow Conservative, and former leader of the council, Mark Annett last month.

Tom was brought-up in Mickleton, where he lives with his wife, Rachel, their three sons and two dogs.

He is managing director of the family business, Vale Press, in Willersey.

"I'm excited to have been selected as candidate for the area where I was brought-up, live and work," said Tom.

"I'm really keen to be a strong voice - to lobby for activities for our young people; for good housing for locals; high-quality local services, better infrastructure and value-for-money for taxpayers."

The by-election, being held on February 3, came about after Mark Annett lost his seat for failing to attend any Cotswold District Council meetings for six months.

It sparked a war of words between the Liberal Democrat leader of the council Joe Harris and the Conservative leader of the opposition group Tony Berry.

Cllr Harris said the expulsion posed questions for his former colleagues.

He said: "If they can’t ensure their councillors attend one meeting every six months how can voters have any confidence that they could run the Council?"

But Cllr Berry has argued the decision to remove Mr Annett from the council was unfair, pointing to the postponement of meetings and the fact he caught Covid during this time as reasons for non-attendance.

There have since been calls to suspend the arrangement whereby councillors are disqualified if they do not attend a meeting for six months given the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Berry said: "Mark Annett's forced expulsion as a councillor led him to decide to retire and he then proposed that Tom take his place.

"This action achieves a new low in this Liberal Democrat administration’s record.

"However, this has at least led to us having Tom as our candidate and he shines with promise for the future; a great choice for Campden and Vale as well as the Cotswolds as a whole.

"I trust the electorate will respond positively and show their dislike of dirty tricks."