THE Liberal Democrats have announced a former BBC Oxford journalist will stand in a by-election after one of its councillors resigned earlier this week.

Tim Bearder, who was born in South Africa but spent much of his childhood in Oxfordshire before returning after university, will stand for the party as it looks to win back Wheatley.

Previous councillor, Kirsten Johnson, resigned on Monday to move to North Devon. She has been selected as the party's candidate for its parliamentary constituency at the next general election.

Mr Bearder said: "Kirsten has been a tireless advocate for Wheatley division, working with residents and getting results. I will continue her hard work and keep in touch all year round if elected.

“My top priority will be to lead the charge against the Conservatives' proposal to build an expressway through the area, destroying wildlife and putting huge strain on our already creaking infrastructure.

“It’s a slap in the face to local residents who have been crying out for improvements in local services and roads to then build a huge road that no one wants, while continuing the cuts.”

Dr Johnson, a professional pianist, said: “It has been a pleasure working closely with so many residents to improve our area.

“In Tim Bearder we have a great candidate. He is energetic, committed and will listen to the concerns of local residents.”

No by-election date has been set but it will be held before the end of 2018.