Victoria Prentis has been selected by the North Oxfordshire Conservative Association today (Saturday) to serve as its parliamentary candidate for Banbury at the next general election.
The 43-year-old Aynho born barrister who has defended the government in some of its most high profile legal cases, was chosen from a shortlist of four female candidates by party members this morning.
Speaking at outgoing MP Sir Tony Baldry’s House after her selection, Mrs Prentis said: “I’m very excited, it’s always going to be a privilege to represent any community but to do it for your home town is really very moving.”
Mrs Prentis said she will contest the next election on three key issues, managing growth and planning, fighting to defend the services at the Horton General Hospital and improving care for the elderly and those with dementia.
She said: “The economy is critical for everybody, Creating jobs is something the Conservative party has focussed on and we are feeling the benefit of that in Banbury.
“It’s about managing growth to make sure we can house people and increasing the amount of commercial development, whilst making sure we preserve what’s already here.”
Mrs Prentis said she is confident Cherwell District Council’s Local Plan will help ensure planning is properly managed.
She also vowed to fight against plans for a the High Speed rail link (HS2) between London and Birmingham which could cut through swathes of Banburyshire countryside.
She said: “I can’t see how HS2 will benefit people in Banburyshire.”
Mrs Prentis served as head of justice and security at the Treasury Solicitors Department until she resigned her post today.
She has served as a government lawyer for 17 years and has defended the government in key cases such as the 7/7 inquiry.
NOCA Chairman Michael Curry said: “Victoria was on a different plane really particularly because of her job, her links with the constituency and the work she’s done fundraising locally.
“Victoria knows the Treasury and also the Westminster ways and I’m sure she will do her utmost to follow in Sir Tony’s footsteps in representing the constituency which has been paramount to him.”
Mrs Prentis has two daughters who attend school in Oxford and is married to Sebastian Prentis, also a barrister.
Her father Tim Boswell (Lord Boswell of Aynho) served as member of parliament for Daventry from 1987-2010. S
ir Tony Baldry added: “We’re delighted Victoria has been elected unanimously as the Conservative candidate for the next General Election. People need to understand that Victoria has been involved in some of the highest level litigation the government has been involved in.
“Victoria will make a brilliant parliamentary candidate and I have every confidence she will be elected.”
Mrs Prentis will stand against candidates so far confirmed by the Labour, Green, UKIP and National Health Action parties at the election in May.