Samuel Williams has been announced as the Conservative mayoral candidate for the West of England

He was selected by Conservative members following Tim Bowles' decision not to seek re-election, and will run against Labour's Dan Norris and Liberal Democrat Stephen Williams.

Speaking following his formal selection, Samuel, who lives in South Bristol, said: “It is a true honour to be selected to stand as the West of England Combined Authority candidate. If elected my priority would be to see major investment here, building a region fit for future generations.

"The Combined Authority has a vital role to play in the continued Covid recovery, supporting businesses jobs and skills, particularly in our urban areas, and I am keen to see our region goes forward stronger than ever.

"Across WECA and the whole region we are well known for our ‘green’ credentials. I would prioritise the region becoming a leading light in growing an ecologically sustainable and commercially viable economy. With the establishment of a Collaborative Growth forum, business can develop a collaborative approach to regional growth alongside other stakeholders."

He added: "Having grown up just over the WECA border in rural Gloucestershire, I also know the impact of underserved rural areas and would make it a priority to ensure that towns, villages and rural areas are supported with better transport links. I would expand MetroBus, train and park and ride services to deliver this. I would continue to drive towards decarbonisation and reduced need for personal private vehicles, as well as investing in our high streets ensuring that they have the necessary infrastructure they need to grow."

Paying tribute to Tim Bowles, Samuel said: "The progress Tim has made in establishing the Combined Authority from the ground up to strengthen our region has been fantastic and I want us to use the platform he has created to reach for new heights, working closer with our neighbours and expanding to include North Somerset who should have been given the opportunity this time round."

Samuel has spent the last year as the Conservative candidate for Bristol Mayor, on a platform to reform the system and scrap the role entirely. He said he would not be continuing his candidacy but would continue to advocate for the campaign.

Elections for both roles will take place on May 6 next year.