‘Interesting contest’ ahead for candidate

Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Banbury John Howson. NNL-150903-112556001
Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Banbury John Howson. NNL-150903-112556001

The Liberal Democrats have chosen their candidate for the Banbury constituency at the next general election.

John Howson, an Oxfordshire County councillor for the St Margaret’s ward, will be standing against Victoria Prentis (Conservative), Sean Woodcock (Labour), Dickie Bird (UKIP), Ian Middleton (Green) and Roseanne Edwards (National Health Action Party).

“The retirement of the sitting Tory MP will make it a much more open and interesting contest than in previous elections.”

John Howson

Councillor Howson, who stood in Reading East in the 2005 general election said: “I am delighted to have been asked to fight Banbury at the general election.

“The retirement of the sitting Tory MP will make it a much more open and interesting contest than in previous elections.”

He has lived in Oxfordshire since 1979, becoming a county councillor in 2013.

Joining the Liberal Democrats in 1966, this will be his 12th general election and his second as a candidate.

His career has included being a teacher, where in 1977 he was stabbed in the classroom by a former pupil, a university lecturer, a civil servant, government advisor and businessman.

He is currently vice-president of the Liberal Democrat Education Association and of the Magistrates’ Association for England and Wales.

He is currently CEO of Oxford Teacher Services Ltd. For 11 years he wrote a weekly column in the Times Education Supplement.

He said with the Liberal Democrats in coalition government, Banbury had seen the benefit of the pupil premium, free school meals for pupils, a renewed investment in apprenticeships and the third lowest recorded unemployment in the UK.

Cllr Howson added: “More remains to be done to create a fairer society and that can only be achieved by a stronger economy. With a hung parliament the likely outcome in May, every vote will count and I urge voters in Banbury to judge political parties on their whole record of achievement not on any single policy.”