South West Devon Conservatives have selected a new candidate to defend the seat at the next General Election, following the decision of the longstanding MP to retire.

 Councillor Rebecca Smith was chosen by local members at a Special General Meeting.

Rebecca said, “Standing for Parliament is a huge privilege and an immense responsibility. Our diverse community, which encompasses the Plympton and Plymstock suburbs of Plymouth, communities of the South Hams and Moorland villages from West Devon, faces increasing challenges and opportunities. It will be my job as the next General Election approaches to win the trust of residents, convincing them that I share their priorities and can be a strong voice on the national stage.

“It is a humbling honour to follow in the footsteps, as the Conservative candidate, of Sir Gary Streeter MP, who has been an exemplar servant of our community for over thirty years.  Gary has been a friend and mentor to me for most of my life and I look forward to continuing to benefit from his guidance and support in the months to come.”

Rebecca Smith has represented Plymstock Radford ward on Plymouth City Council since 2018.  Last year, she was re-elected by residents with an increased majority.  Rebecca works as a political advisor to Gary Streeter and as South West Public Engagement Coordinator for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.  Until May, she was the Cabinet member for housing and communities on Plymouth City Council and pioneered Plymouth’s work around violence against women and girls.  Previously, Rebecca has worked across the public and not for profit sectors in a range of roles both locally and in London. She was born and bred in Plymouth and is passionate about the community of South West Devon.

Speaking about the selection, Dan Brown, Chairman of South West Devon Conservatives said, “Rebecca is rooted in South West Devon.  She understands our issues and is driven by a passion to make life better for each member of the community.  We are excited by the energy she will bring to her campaign between now and the next election and know she will work tirelessly to engage with residents across the whole constituency.”

The process to find a new candidate for South West Devon was triggered last November when Sir Gary Streeter MP announced his decision to retire at the next General Election.

Gary said, “It is vital that South West Devon is represented by a local candidate who appreciates the issues and understands what makes our little corner of the world tick.  I have known Rebecca for many years.  Her local knowledge is comprehensive and impressive and her work ethic is inspiring.”

The general election is expected in 2024.