A GLOUCESTERSHIRE council leader has been selected to stand for MP in the Cotswolds.

Paul Hodgkinson, who is Cotswold District Council’s health, leisure and culture cabinet member will contest the new North Cotswolds seat for the Liberal Democrats

Cllr Hodgkinson, who is also a member of Gloucestershire County Council, has lived in the Cotswolds and Stroud for 35 years.

“I have made our beautiful area my home and set up my small business here,” he said

“With national politics so volatile, an election is imminent – I aim to stand up for those who feel disconnected from the decisions, appalling behaviour and chaos seen in Westminster.

“I want to give the area I live in a real voice, getting things done and giving hope for the change which a lot of people crave after 14 years of broken services.”

Cllr Hodgkinson has been elected to Cotswold District Council and Gloucestershire County Council seven times – winning the rock solid Conservative seat of Bourton and Northleach after previously representing Bisley in the 1990s.

He has also been leader of the opposition on both authorities and has campaigned for better ambulance response times, safer roads.

Cllr Hodgkinson previously stood for Parliament for the Cotswolds in 2015 and for Stroud in 1997. Now, following on from the Lib Dem breakthrough in being the leading party on Tewkesbury Borough Council and in running Cotswold District Council for the last five years, he believes there’s an opportunity for change:

“On the back of by election wins all over the country by the Lib Dems, the North Cotswolds is part of the so-called ‘Blue Wall’.”

The new North Cotswolds constituency includes half of the Cotswold District with iconic villages like Bourton, the communities of Brockworth, Churchdown and Shurdington in the Tewkesbury Borough and parts of the Stroud District such as Painswick.