An anti-LTN MP candidate will now receive the backing of a new Oxford party which previously said it would not be standing candidates.

Rose Hill & Iffley ward Independent Oxford Alliance councillor David Henwood originally announced he would be standing as an Independent candidate for the Oxford East seat currently held by Anneliese Dodds for Labour.

But Mr Henwood's name appeared as a candidate under the Independent Oxford Alliance party on the statement of nominated persons when published by the city council on Friday last week.

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The IOA - which formed in November last year and won four council seats at local elections - said just two weeks previously it would not be standing any candidates and would be focusing on local elections.

IOA members at the party launch in November.IOA members at the party launch in November. (Image: IOA)

A spokesman has now said: "This decision marks a significant shift in our strategy, driven by our unwavering commitment to addressing the pressing local issues that impact our community.

"David Henwood, a dedicated city councillor and a staunch advocate for the residents of Oxford East, will now stand as the official IOA candidate.

"This move comes after extensive discussions and a deep understanding of the critical issues facing our constituency.

"We invite all residents and businesses of Oxford East to join us in supporting David Henwood’s campaign for MP."

David Henwood.David Henwood. (Image: Ed Nix.)

The news comes after another candidate, Amir Steve Ali, made claims of "backstabbing" and "heartbreak" against Mr Henwood for running against him and "splitting the Independent vote".

Speaking in light of the IOA announcement, Mr Ali said: "I backed IOA during their campaign, because we have a similar agenda.

"I never went against them I even backed off St Clement's and let their IOA candidate stand in the St Clement's ward because it's all about humanity, respect unity and giving the public justice.

"I believe an Independent against Independent shows selfishness, division, and not caring about the public suffering.

"Our focus should be one Independent and every Independent and the team should be backing the one candidate for General Election, it's about winning the election, but they are more interested taking votes off Dodds and my interest is winning the General Election.

"It is the only way to save Oxford."

Amir Steve Ali.Amir Steve Ali. (Image: Ed Nix.)

Mr Henwood told us: "I am glad to hear Stevy (Mr Ali) is standing as an Independent and will continue to support him financially and with my friendship. I hope that he will, in time, come to respect my decision to stand."

Party chair Anne Gwinnett added: "I am saddened to learn that Amir feels we have not been open with him.

"I have specifically kept him appraised of our position with regard to standing an IOA candidate in Oxford East.”