THE Liberal Democrats have selected their candidate to become MP for Romsey and Southampton North.

Ben Nicholls will challenge Conservative MP Caroline Nokes at the General Election next May after being selected by party colleagues.

The 26-year-old, who has lived in Hampshire since he was 12, is a senior manager at Newham College and the founder of the youth theatre charity RicNic.

He will be hoping to regain the seat for the Lib Dems. Sandra Gidley held the seat for the party between 2000 and 2010 before losing out to Ms Nokes.

Speaking after he was selected at a party meeting at Romsey’s Crosfield Hall, he said: “It is a huge honour to be selected and I can’t wait to meet more people across the area over the coming weeks and months.”

He said one of his focuses before the election will be engaging with younger voters.

Mrs Gidley said: “Ben will be a force to be reckoned with.”