THE candidates for the December 12 general election are now set in stone, and have less than a month on the campaign trail.

We continue our series of features on the candidates around Oxfordshire with the three prospective parliamentarians standing in Witney and West Oxfordshire.

The three candidates standing in the Witney constituency are Robert Courts (Conservative), Rosa Bolger (Labour), and Charlotte Hoagland (Liberal Democrats).

ALSO READ: The candidates for Oxford West and Abingdon

Witney is the only seat in Oxfordshire where only the three long-term major political parties are standing.

The Conservatives


Robert Courts.

Conservative candidate Robert Courts is Witney’s most recent MP, and fulfilled this duty up until last month, when parliament dissolved and election campaigning began.

Mr Courts was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Witney and West Oxfordshire in the by-election in October 2016, and was re-elected in the 2017 General Election.

He has a six-point plan for West Oxfordshire, including: better roads, trains and buses; helping local shops and businesses; building suitable homes, in the right place; high quality healthcare for all; delivering education for every child, and supporting the armed forces at RAF Brize Norton.

On the announcement of the General Election, Mr Courts said: “We have faced an usually high amount of elections in West Oxfordshire in recent years but, with Parliament deadlocked, it’s clear that a General Election is now the best option to break the impasse so the country can finally move forward.

“I’m looking forward to spending the next six weeks speaking to the good, hard-working people of West Oxfordshire and setting out a positive vision for our area, and our country.

The Labour Party


Rosa Bolger.

Labour’s candidate Rosa Bolger is a West Oxfordshire District Councillor and in May became the first woman Leader of the now Labour controlled Witney Town Council.

She is a community activist who led the Save Cogges Surgery campaign, preventing the closure of a GP surgery in Witney.

She is committed to tackling the climate crisis, as well as the issues of long waits for GP appointments, class sizes and overworked teachers, empty high street shops, and traffic.

Ms Bolger said: “As someone who has always campaigned to Remain in Europe, I want to see a close relationship with our EU neighbours to protect jobs and rights.

“We recognise the need to give the people of Witney a final say on a new deal which Labour will negotiate. We have the ideas and energy to transform our country through and beyond Brexit.”

READ MORE about candidates in the 2019 general election from across Oxfordshire here:

The Liberal Democrats


Charlotte Hoagland.

Charlotte Hoagland is the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Witney seat, and has a long history as a Liberal Democrat member.

She has worked for Liberal Democrat parliamentarians Lord John Thurso, Liam McArthur, and Jim Hume.

In 2017, she was a national campaign organiser for Jamie Stone in his election campaign, helping the Liberal Democrats to retake control of a previously held seat in the House of Commons. She has a masters degree from the University of Edinburgh in Comparative Public Policy.

Ms Hoagland has a ‘five-point plan’ for Witney, which includes: affordable housing, better road and rail transport, better health provision, investment in schools, and renewable energy investment and economic growth.

The Green Party: why they stood down

The Green Party was due to field Andrew Prosser as a candidate, but he stood down due to a Remain-leaning electoral pact. before submitting an application because of a Remain-leaning alliance with the Liberal Democrats.

The Unite to Remain Alliance has seen Greens, Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru candidates stand aside for one another across the UK to allow voters only one choice from among them, with the intention of gaining more votes for an anti-Brexit party.

Labour’s Rosa Bolger urged the Lib Dems to stand aside in Witney to give the party a clear run at the Tories, claiming only Jeremy Corbyn’s party could unseat them.