A constituency in Oxfordshire has been renamed by the Boundary Commission as a general election draws closer.

The Henley constituency has been renamed as the Henley and Thame constituency in response to residents complaining that they had “little connection” to the Henley on Thames area.

Liberal Democrats in the constituency have welcomed the change and have said the new name better reflects the balance of electors in the seat.

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The party’s parliamentary candidate, Freddie van Mierlo, said: “Many people we speak to in places like Thame and Chinnor say they feel little connection to Henley-on-Thames.

“The new name reflects better the large geographic size of the constituency and the importance of Thame as a population centre.”

Pieter-Paul Barker, Thame District councillor and chair of the Liberal Democrats Henley and Thame local party said, “Our response to the Electoral Commission’s public consultation suggested including Thame in the constituency name.

“We’re pleased that the Boundary Commission has listened.

“Liberal Democrats are working hard in Thame and we will be making Thame a key part of our campaign to win the constituency.”

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On Thursday evening, it was reported in the Express the Conservative Party had abandoned their process for selecting a candidate to contest the seat, as the South Oxfordshire Conservative Association had received complaints about breaches.

It is believed the selection process will re-start once the breaches have been thoroughly investigated.

The Conservative Party’s selection process became necessary after Henley MP John Howell informed the association that he stepping down as an MP after the next general election.

It was widely speculated that former prime minister Boris Johnson may choose to seek to become the party's candidate for the seat but his spokesman denied these rumours at the time.

The party's selection process has already attracted the attention of Olympic gold medalist James Cracknell, who revealed his intentions to be the Conservative candidate in an interview to the Telegraph on April 30.

It has been reported in the Express that constituency chairman William Hall, son of former BBC director general Lord Hall, was selected for the shortlist.

But a number of complaints were made by unsuccessful candidates and local party members.

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In a message sent to prospective candidates from the director of candidates Matt Lane and chief of staff to the chairman of the candidates Gareth Fox, it was said: "I write to inform you that due to breaches of the parliamentary candidate selection process, the party board have this afternoon decided to abandon the current selection process of the Henley constituency.

"This vacancy will be readvertised in due course."

A Conservative source at the association told the Oxford Mail the message was sent today and its leaking to the press was under investigation.

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To sign up to Ed's weekly Politics newsletter, click here: https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/newsletters/

Ed specialises in writing political stories for the Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times. 

He joined in the team in February 2023, after completing a History undergraduate degree at the University of York and studying for his NCTJ diploma in London.

Ed’s weekly politics newsletter is released every Saturday morning.