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Conservatives choose candidate for Cameron's seat

Robert Courts will represent the Conservatives for the constituency of Witney & West Oxfordshire. Credit:

The Conservative Party has selected a barrister to be its candidate for David Cameron's constituency in Oxfordshire.

Father-of-one Robert Courts, 37, was on Thursday night chosen to run as the Tory candidate for the constituency of Witney & West Oxfordshire.

Speaking after his selection, Mr Courts said he is "hugely honoured" and paid tribute to Mr Cameron.

I believe it is vital that Witney and West Oxfordshire residents continue to have a strong local voice in Parliament and I will work tirelessly to ensure that residents' views and concerns are heard.

I look forward to meeting and speaking with as many local residents as possible in the coming weeks and discussing the issues that matter to them.

– Robert Courts

Mr Courts has been a West Oxfordshire District Councillor since 2014 and was described by the Conservative Party as a "devoted champion for the area".

David Cameron said he is "delighted" at the selection of Mr Courts.

He added: "This was a strong shortlist of local candidates and I'm delighted Robert Courts has been chosen.

"Witney and West Oxfordshire deserves - and will now get - an excellent Conservative candidate to stand up for local people and back Theresa May's government.

"It's been a huge honour to serve Witney and West Oxfordshire and I look forward to helping Robert in the forthcoming by-election."

The former Prime Minister resigned from Parliament earlier this month saying he did not want to be a "distraction" to the government.

'Give us a call': McVey would run for Cameron's seat

The former employment minister lost her Wirral West seat in last year's election. Credit: PA

Former Conservative MP Esther McVey has said she would stand in the by-election for David Cameron's seat.

Asked if she would consider standing, Ms McVey told Sky News's Murnaghan programme it was up to the Conservative Association to choose candidates but she would welcome an invitation to run.

"We believe in the Tory Party is the actual association chooses the candidate, and that's what they'll be doing there."

"So, obviously if the chairman is watching, give us a call, " she added.

Mr Cameron resigned as MP for Witney on Monday, saying he feared becoming a "distraction" for the Government.

Voters in the Oxfordshire constituency will go to the polls on October 20.


Tory donor asks for name to be taken off honours list

Vitol Oil boss Ian Taylor Credit: Reuters

A major donor to the Conservative Party who was nominated for a knighthood has asked that his name be removed from David Cameron's proposed resignation honours list.

Vitol Oil boss Ian Taylor has written to both the former prime minister, and current Prime Minister Theresa May amid accusations of cronyism after the list was leaked.

In recent days, speculation in the media has suggested that I may be recognised in the forthcoming resignation honours list.

This has been accompanied by seriously inaccurate comments about the company I lead. In these circumstances, I think it is right I request that my name does not go forward, if indeed I was being considered for an honour.

Tonight, I am writing both to the outgoing and the current Prime Minister requesting that I would not wish to be considered for an honour at this time.

I will, of course, be continuing to participate actively in all the causes that I and my family passionately believe in, notably broadening access to the arts for everyone.

– Ian Taylor

Mr Taylor has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Conservative Party in recent years, and donated £500,000 to the Better Together campaign to reject Scottish independence in the 2014 referendum.

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