CONSERVATIVE activists have chosen a 45-year-old councillor from David Cameron's home patch as their candidate to be the next MP for North Dorset.

Simon Hoare was selected on Saturday to fight the seat, with fewer than 100 days to go before the general election.

Current MP Bob Walter, who is standing down at the May election, held a comfortable 7,625 majority over the Liberal Democrats in 2010.

Mr Hoare is a county and district councillor in Witney, the Prime Minister's own constituency.

“I've worked over the years, as a candidate and before with David Cameron so I would hope to have his ear with these key issues whether it's transport investment or the future of dairy farming,” he said.

He said of his selection: “I'm absolutely thrilled and delighted and I'm going to work as of today. We're out talking, meeting our council candidates. We've got a very busy day and we're hitting the ground running.

“We're going to be 'foot to the floor' and I want to go around and meet as many people as possible, the local schools, local farmers etc to get the fullest possible picture I can, but for local people to understand I'm accessible and available and here to help,” he said.

He said the state of the road network, schools and broadband speeds were among the key issues locally that he had picked up on during the selection process.

Mr Hoare plans to move to North Dorset with Kate, his wife of 14 years, and his three daughters, aged between two and six.

He contested the Labour-held seat of Cardiff South at the last general election and runs Community Connect, a public affairs agency working in the property development sector.

“I'm not a professional politician. I come with a business background and I think again that seems to be going down rather well, somebody who has experience in the everyday world,” he said.