THE Conservatives have named their candidate to challenge Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead at next year's General Election.

Jeremy Moulton, a former city council deputy leader and current Tory council opposition deputy leader, was unanimously selected by fellow party members at a meeting on Wednesday (July 30).

Cllr Moulton has been a ward councillor in Freemantle for 13 years, and fought the seat in the 2010 General Election, losing out to Labour's Dr Whitehead by less than 2,500 votes.

The former Richard Taunton's College student said: "I am honoured to be selected to stand for Southampton Test in next year's General Election.

"As a local person I know the constituency like the back of my hand and care passionately about the area where I live and grew up.

“This will be a critical General Election.

“The country is getting back on track and the economy is mending and we need a Conservative Government, which has a long term economic plan for the future to complete the job.

“A Labour government would put the recovery and jobs at risk, it would mean we go back to the bad days of uncontrolled borrowing and will mean big tax rises for people who are struggling as it is with the cost of living."

Cllr Moulton, who works as a pensions manager for Friends Life, says his priorities if elected will be growing and supporting the local economy, creating more jobs, and improving skills and education.