The Conservative candidate for the new parliamentary constituency of Chippenham will be Nic Puntis.

The Wiltshire councillor has been selected by the party to context the next general election in the constituency, which has the same name as the one currently represented by Michelle Donelan but will be very different.

It will be made up of the northern parts of Ms Donelan’s patch and the southern half of James Gray’s current North Wiltshire constituency, including Chippenham, Calne, Corsham and Royal Wootton Bassett.

With both sitting Tory MPs deciding to defend other reorganised constituencies at the next election the Chippenham constituency had no ready-made Conservative candidate.

Councillor Puntis was selected from a short list of three, including Swindon councillor and former deputy PCC Russell Holland and Helen Harrison.

After his selection Coun Puntis, who represents the Chippenham Cepen Park & Derriads division on the county council, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been selected.

“I was born here and grew up in Chippenham and I have had businesses sin all the four towns of the new constituency.

“It’s an interesting situation with a new constituency being made and no sitting MP, but I feel that I am relatively well-known across the who area. My name is quite unusual – and I’m pretty well known here in Chippenham - my wife runs Sarah-Jaynes Café in the Market Place.

“But I’ve had businesses in all four of the towns so I think I’m reasonably well-known there as well.”

Coun Puntis said he is currently campaigning in Chippenham ahead of council by-elections and added: “It’ll soon be time to start looking at getting out and about in the rest of the constituency and start work on the parliamentary campaign.”

Coun Holland said: "Having served as deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire I was encouraged to put my name forward for this new seat.  It was a good-natured contest and Nic Puntis is an extremely strong local candidate who I know will make an excellent MP."

Ms Donelan will defend the new constituency of Melksham and Devizes, while veteran Mr Gray will stand in the new South Cotswolds constituency, made up of south east Gloucestershire and the northern parts of North Wiltshire.

The latest date the next general election can be held is January 2025 - just over five years from the December 2019 election won by the Conservatives under Boris Johnson.