HEREFORD Conservatives have chosen their new candidate to contest the next general election.

Jesse Norman was told late on Tuesday that he was the clear winner following the party's open primary election.

Mr Norman, who is 44 and lives between Painscastle and Aberedw with his wife and three children, said the job of turning Hereford "blue" had already begun.

The former banker and director of Barclays said: "If people vote for anyone else, they will get Gordon Brown leading the country.

"And this would see Hereford continue to suffer in central government budgets for years to come.

"I would try to ensure that Hereford would receive a fair share of funding to pay for vital services and help our economy grow."

Mr Norman, who was educated at Oxford University and University College London, said while he would do everything he could to take the Hereford seat from the Liberal Democrats, he would also find time to relax by canoeing with his children down the River Wye and riding his horses across the Black Mountains.