A NEW candidate has been selected by UKIP in the battle to become North West Hampshire’s next MP.

The appointment of Malcolm Bint as prospective parliamentary candidate comes a week after UKIP MEP Diane James stepped down “for personal reasons”.

Mr Bint, the current vice-chairman of the party’s East Hampshire branch, told The Gazette he met with North West Hampshire colleagues in Andover last night to start planning his campaign.

He said: “I’m the man now and we will build this thing together. It has been a difficult time for the branch but we will overcome this and build a campaign for the General Election.”

The constituency covers part of the borough, including Baughurst, Oakley, Overton, Tadley and Whitchurch.

Mr Bint, an engineer, said he was a member of the Conservative Party for 30 years before moving to UKIP two-and-a-half years ago.

He said that although he lives in Petersfield, he knows the constituency well, as his son lives there and his grandson goes to school in Andover.

Mr Bint told The Gazette he would campaign on supporting the military and against “obsessive building in the countryside”.

The North West Hampshire seat is currently occupied by Conservative MP, Sir George Young. However, the 73-year-old announced in December 2013 that he was to step down at the General Election in May this year.

The contenders to replace him are Conservative Kit Malthouse, Labour’s Andrew Adams, Liberal Democrat Alex Paynton and Green Party hopeful Dan Hill.

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