The Liberal Democrats in Torridge and West Devon have unveiled their prospective parliamentary candidate for the next General Election.

Environmentalist and Barnstaple resident Simon Hobson, 42, has been chosen by the party to represent them in the next General Election, in a seat currently occupied by Sir Geoffrey Cox, KC, with a majority of 24,992.

The seat has been held by the Conservatives since 2005, before which, John Burnett represented the Liberal Democrats between 1997 and 2005. Emma Nicholson represented the area prior to that as a Conservative between 1987 and 1995, when she defected to the Liberal Democrats while remaining in the seat until 1997.

Announcing his candidacy, the Liberal Democrats said that Mr Hobson was a ‘dedicated environmentalist from a farming background and has worked internationally in Africa and both North and South America’.

They added that prior to gaining his degree in mining engineering from Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, Simon was the constituency organiser in the Lib Dem-held constituency of Winchester and also a former professional cyclist.

Steve Middleton, Chair of Torridge and West Devon Liberal Democrats, said: “Simon is an experienced and enthusiastic campaigner who is deeply committed to rural England and the protection of our natural resources.

“He will be a formidable opponent for the Conservatives at the next General Election and an energetic champion for our constituency.”

Simon Hobson said: “I am passionate about restoring liberal values to Britain. The people of Torridge and West Devon have been taken for granted by the incumbent Conservative MP for far too long.

“It is about time that local people had a representative in Parliament who is prepared to give the job their full-time commitment and who will treat the honour of being their parliamentary representative with the respect it is due.”