TWO more political hopefuls have thrown their hats into the ring ahead of the general election. 

The Labour Party has chosen journalist Anna Mainwaring and economist Zoë Billingham as its parliamentary candidates for new North and South Cotswolds MP seats.

Both candidates have pledged to put rural issues at the top of their campaign agenda and have said that they want to stand up for British farmers and fight to protect the environment.

They are also campaigning for better healthcare, housing and public services. 

Anna - who has been a journalist and TV producer for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 - will stand for the North Cotswolds seat, and will be running against Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Con) and Paul Hodgkinson (LD). 

She is a former union leader who represented journalists across the country and she was a school governor at a local primary school. 

Anna said: “There are so many things that are utterly broken in the country now. 

"People in North Cotswolds can’t get a GP appointment, the rivers are polluted with sewage, our farmers have been abandoned by this government, and our schools are suffering from years of underinvestment.

"In the last few years we’ve seen a massive increase in low paid, insecure jobs combined with a rise in the cost of living which is taking a terrible toll on so many people.”
Meanwhile, Zoë - who has previously worked as a civil servant advising Government ministers - will stand for the South Cotswolds seat, and will be running against James Gray (Con) and Roz Savage (LD).

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Zoë BillinghamZoë Billingham (Image: The Labour Party)

Amongst her concerns is the current state of public services, climate change and the growing number of children growing up in poverty.

She said: “It is an honour to be Labour's parliamentary candidate in a place I know so well and that I am proud to be from. 

"Our communities are in need of change, with living standards plummeting and public services crumbling this government has run out of road.

"I want to be a voice of hope and of change for our South Cotswolds residents as their Labour MP and ensure we have our say as part of a Labour government.”