THE North Shropshire Conservative Association has all-but-named its candidate to fight the next General Election and win the seat back from Helen Morgan after Dean Carroll was named spokesman.

Councillor Carroll, who has held a number Shropshire Council Cabinet posts, was named as the Conservative's spokesman in North Shropshire at a meeting of members on Saturday.

Cllr Carroll will be in the driving seat to be named as the party's official candidate, with rumours of an October snap election to alleviate pressure on Boris Johnson, and will be tasked to restore the Tories to the constituency.

He says he will championing a number of causes that have been long-term goals for his predecessor Owen Paterson, such as the Pant and Llanymynech by-pass and a faire future for Whitchurch.

"As the Conservative Spokesperson, my job will be to speak up for North Shropshire and to support and promote our communities,” Dean said.

“My priorities are to fight for a Fairer Funding formula that works for our rural communities, and ensure a strong post-Covid economic recovery in places like Oswestry, Market Drayton and Whitchurch.

“We need to secure investment in our market towns, like Wem, to improve the infrastructure and job opportunities that haven't always kept pace with the level of housing development.

“I believe, as someone who has grown up in Shropshire, gone to school, worked and set up a small business here, I can speak for the people of North Shropshire.”

As a Shropshire councillor, Cllr Carroll has held numerous cabinet positions, including physical infrastructure, climate change and adult social care and was considered to have played a leading role in the county’s response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Cllr Carroll, who grew up in Shropshire, runs a small marketing business and fundraises for numerous local charities.

He succeeds Dr Neil Shastri-Hurst as the man who the Conservatives hope will turn North Shropshire blue once more following Mrs Morgan's shock victory last December.

The Liberal Democrat MP won the seat with a majority of 5,925, which is more than the 5,648 votes she received in the 2019 General Election, and picked up 17,957 votes overall.

However, it was considered locally that many Conservative voters remained at home on the day as a protest against Mr Johnson at the start of the 'Partygate' allegations.

The seat was vacated following Mr Paterson's resignation over his potential 30-day ban from Parliament as part of a lobbying scandal.