A FORMER council leader has been selected as the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate in the next general election.
Councillor Donna Jones was named as the next Tory candidate to run for the Portsmouth South seat – her first time contesting a parliamentary seat.
It comes after former Conservative MP Flick Drummond revealed she would not be trying to retake her seat during a special meeting of the city’s Conservative association at the Royal Yacht Club in Pembrooke Road.
Cllr Jones was thrilled by her selection and said: ‘It’s a dream come true to be selected to represent the Conservative Party in the city I love.
‘I care about the people of Portsmouth and I’m passionate about helping to improve their lives and our city.’
Portsmouth South is currently held by Labour MP Stephen Morgan, who won during the snap election in 2017.
Frank Worley, chairman of Portsmouth South Conservatives, said: ‘We are delighted to have Donna as our candidate. She is born and raised in Portsmouth, a local girl who has a tremendous track record of doing what is right for Portsmouth.
‘Donna comes from a business background and we need more straight talking, down to earth people like her representing normal people like us in parliament.’
The next general election is scheduled for May 5, 2022.
However, with the turbulence surrounding parliament following the prime minister Theresa May’s beleaguered Brexit negotiations, there is potential for an election to be called sooner.
Mrs Drummond pledged to give Cllr Jones her full support during the next general election - whenever that might be – and said: ‘I’ve worked closely with Donna for over 12 years now. In that time I have observed her ability to help people and been impressed by her absolute dedication to Portsmouth.
‘I wish Donna all the luck and support in her campaign to become the next MP for Portsmouth South. I look forward to working with her to ensure she is elected.’
Cllr Jones vowed to give ‘100 per cent’ to the role, if elected, and would be a ‘voice in parliament’ for business, the navy, the third sector and residents.