THERE is less than a month for political candidates in Oxfordshire to convince voters why they should be their next representative in Parliament.

There are four candidates standing in the North Oxfordshire seat of Banbury, which includes Bicester and surrounding villages within its boundaries.

These are: Victoria Prentis (Conservative), Tim Bearder (Liberal Democrat), Suzette Watson (Labour), and Ian Middleton (Green Party).


Bicester Advertiser:

Victoria Prentis

Victoria Prentis was Banbury’s previous MP until Parliament was dissolved for the General Election campaign at the end of October.

The Conservative candidate for Banbury was first elected to the seat in 2015.

Ms Prentis was born at the Horton General Hospital and brought up locally, and has said she is determined to deliver the result of the 2016 referendum.

She is also campaigning on local issues, including reinstating obstetric-led maternity services to the Horton, and improving access to GP surgeries in Bicester.

Ms Prentis said: “Since the referendum, I have repeatedly voted to leave the EU in an orderly way. Regrettably, not all MPs have agreed with me and electing a new Parliament is now the only way to get Brexit done and bring the country together.

She added: “I will also be a strong voice for our villages, whose character makes our constituency such a beautiful place in which to live, and for our growing towns of Banbury and Bicester, which continue to attract fresh investment and jobs.”

The Liberal Democrats

Bicester Advertiser:

Tim Bearder

Liberal Democrat candidate Tim Bearder is currently an Oxfordshire county councillor for Wheatley in the south of the county.

According to his campaign website. Tim grew up in the constituency, went to school in Bicester and worked for 12 years at BBC Oxford before entering politics.

He also runs a film and production company specialising in social and political campaigns including the legislation of medical cannabis and justice for pensioners living abroad.

In a campaign launch video, Mr Bearder said: “I know the area like the back of my hand and it would be a real honour to represent this area.”

The Lib Dem has pledged to fight the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, invest more in schools, and stand against Brexit.

READ MORE about candidates in the 2019 general election from across Oxfordshire here:

The Labour Party

Bicester Advertiser:

Suzette Watson

Labour candidate Suzette Watson was selected to contest the Banbury seat in April.

Ms Watson was born in New York City, living in Norfolk briefly before living in the United States until she was 19.

She is a dual citizen of the UK and the USA.

When she was selected by her local party in April, she said: “We are going to fight with all our passion and strength to get the Tories out of office. We’re going to bring our brilliant Labour Party policies to life in Westminster, across the country and to Banbury and Bicester!”

Some of her campaigning issues include: Saving Horton General Hospital, stopping the merger of Bicester GPs, addressing the climate emergency, investing in town centres and high streets, preventing the isolation of older people, building sustainable housing, and supporting police and courts.

The Green Party

Bicester Advertiser:

Ian Middleton

Ian Middleton has previously stood as the Green Party candidate for Banbury in the 2015 and 2017 elections.

Mr Middleton is an environmental campaigner, writer and entrepreneur, who was born and raised in London, but has lived in Yarnton since 1993 with his wife. He joined the Green Party in 2012 after becoming disillusioned with the three other main parties.

He currently sits as a councillor for Kidlington East on Cherwell District Council, and is a member of two parish councils as well.

On his campaign website, Mr Middleton described himself as an ‘ardent advocate on both national and local green issues’, including sustainable farming methods, the treatment of animals in food production and green energy.

As a local businessman, he also promotes local enterprise and businesses.

Mr Middleton supported Remain in the 2016 referendum and said there should be a final say on a deal with the EU.