UKIP has selected its candidate for the Stroud constituency for the next general election in 2015.

Caroline Stephens, a former banker from Chippenham, is to be the United Kingdom Independence Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate to contest the seat.

The 49-year-old mother of two has a teaching and financial background helping young people manage their money.

She has also been a volunteer worker for the Citizen's Advice Bureau as well as other charities.

Mrs Stephens has described her main passions as energy, education, and overseas aid.

"How can it be right that we waste £1 billion a month on foreign aid when Stroud schools, hospitals and roads are facing financial crises?" she said.

Mrs Stephens beat off competition from two other candidates to secure her party’s nomination at a hustings event held in a pub near Kemble on Thursday, January 30.

A relative newcomer to the world of local politics, she joined UKIP a year ago, having never previously been a member of any political party.

She said she hoped to appeal to all voters in Stroud and not just to those who might be inclined to vote for the incumbent pro-EU Tory MP Neil Carmichael.

“I know the press have made a lot about UKIP taking votes away from the Tories but I think we will appeal to voters across the political spectrum,” she said.

“Our candidates have all had occupations that people can relate to. I have worked in a bank, for various charities and as a teacher in schools.

“I’m not a career politician, I’ve not worked as a political researcher and then become a professional politician, I have some real life experiences.”

UKIP’s parliamentary hopeful will be meeting potential voters at the Old Lodge on Minchinhampton Common at 10am on Saturday, February 22. The event is open to the public and all are welcome to attend.