A former parliamentary candidate has announced plans to stand in next year’s local elections for the Liberal Democrats.

Robert Jones stood for the Shropshire Party against Owen Paterson in North Shropshire in the December 2019 general election, and will next year attempt to win the Ruyton and Baschurch seat on Shropshire Council.

The North Shropshire Liberal Democrats said welcoming Mr Jones to the party was a “significant boost” to their campaign to win control of the council from the ruling Conservative group.

Mr Jones' campaign in last year's national ballot saw him call for devolved assembly and greater powers for town and parish councils.

He said: “I want to stand up for, and represent my local community, to help hold the Tory council to account, and to work towards improving the lives of residents and communities across Shropshire.

“I feel particularly strongly about devolving power, empowering local communities and getting their voice heard. Standing for the Liberal Democrats is the best way to achieve that.”

Whitchurch Herald:

Robert Jones

The Lib Dems’ North Shropshire parliamentary candidate Helen Morgan, who stood against Mr Jones in last year’s general election, said she was delighted to welcome him to the party.

Ms Morgan said: “The election next May will be hugely important. Residents will have an obvious choice, the incompetent and wasteful Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats who will fight for Shropshire and represent the only choice for change.

“Robert has a lot to offer the residents of Ruyton-XI-Towns and Baschurch. He is an excellent addition to our growing team.

“More importantly, he will be a first-class advocate for his community at Shirehall.”

Ms Morgan will also be standing for Shropshire Council next May in The Meres division.

Mr Jones, who grew up in Baschurch and now works in agriculture, added: “I can’t wait to get to work, win this election and then deliver for the residents of Ruyton & Baschurch division and for Shropshire.”

The Liberal Democrats are the main opposition to the council’s Conservative administration, holding 12 of the 74 seats.

Councillor Roger Evans, Liberal Democrat leader on the council, has said his group intends to field candidates in every division in a bid to become the majority party.

The required number of seats to take control of the council is 38. The ruling Conservative group currently hold 48 seats.