A born and raised London councillor is standing for a seat in Southampton in the upcoming general election.

Conservative Sidney Yankson is hoping to succeed Royston Smith as MP for Southampton Itchen.

Yankson is a barrister and councillor for the Redcliffe ward in London who vied for the MP spot in North West Leicestershire last year.

But he now has his eyes set down south, despite concerns from Southampton residents he does not know the area.

When the Echo put these concerns to him, he simply directed us to his website.

"All that information can be found there," he said.

The information found revealed that he recently moved to the city and described it as a "special place", something he realised when he first visited 33 years ago.

His website reads: “One of my first visits to Southampton I went to the Cowherds pub for a pint with my friends, who were born and raised in Southampton.”

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Since that visit, he is keen to incorporate his experience as a barrister and time in the British Army reserves into the role of a city MP.

He said: “I was in the British Army reserves for six years when I was in my 20s, so I am keen to defend and protect my country.

“I am a barrister and tackling crime is one of my main objectives, especially tackling crime against women and girls.

“My policy is to get stuff done, like I did in the army.”

He will be fighting for the seat against Labour candidate Darren Paffey, who currently serves as a councillor for the Bargate ward.

For Paffey, the election is all about who is the best choice for Southampton.

He said: “I have lived in the city for more than half my life now, I work here, my children go to school here.

“What’s important for me is that Southampton comes first.

“I depend on the GP services here, and my children use the schools.

“When I say to people on their doorsteps I am from here, they seem to appreciate it.

“And I am not going anywhere, this is where me and my family are established.”