The Green Party has announced its candidate for the Chesham and Amersham by-election to replace the late Dame Cheryl Gillan as MP.

Carolyne Culver, who is the Green group leader on West Berkshire county council, is set to stand for the party after being selected with 96% of the vote by Chiltern Green Party on May 4.

Dame Cheryl sadly died over the Easter weekend following a long illness.

Ms Culver is a HS2 campaigner and will be endorsed by the Stop HS2 campaign in the election – the only candidate to do so, according to the party.

She said: “Demanding that government scraps HS2 and instead invests in local services will be at the heart of my campaign.

“The environmental destruction, the land grabs, and the serious threat to the supply of safe drinking water which could be caused by HS2’s drilling, must end now.

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“It’s the residents of the constituency who are bearing the brunt of this project and will gain nothing from it.

“At the same time, they have to put up with roads which are full of potholes and poor local bus services.

“I have met so many people who are directly, negatively affected by this government’s vanity project. I have witnessed their anger, despair and disbelief at the way they have been treated. No doubt the other parties’ candidates will claim to be opposed to HS2, but don’t forget that the Conservative, Labour and the Liberal Democrat parties all have a national party policy that is pro-HS2.

“Spending more than £100bn on HS2 is frankly obscene. The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that we need to spend more on the NHS, adult social care, and helping people back into work and to reskill,” she added.

“In addition to HS2’s threat to our chalk streams and aquifer, there is the disgraceful ongoing contamination of the River Chess from regular sewage discharges.

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“I will demand that Thames Water invests more in their infrastructure to stop this scandal. Profit cannot be put before public health or the environment.”

Ms Culver, a Green Party county councillor in West Berkshire, has spent much of her career working in communications in the charity and university sectors, including the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust and the University of Oxford.

She has also been a teacher, lecturer and journalist.

A date for the by-election has not yet been set.