Page last updated at 22:08 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 23:08 UK

Tory candidate chosen for Henley

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson was elected London mayor at the beginning of May

An Oxfordshire councillor has been selected by the Conservatives to fight the Henley by-election when London Mayor Boris Johnson steps down as MP.

John Howell, a former partner at City accountant Ernst and Young, was chosen from a shortlist of three.

Mr Howell said it was a "huge privilege" to have been selected for the Oxfordshire constituency.

New London mayor Boris Johnson is yet to formally stand down from his seat, which he has held since 2001.

A cabinet member on Oxfordshire County Council, Mr Howell was made an OBE in 2000.

The Tories said he would be a champion for the constituency.

"A successful businessman, he is leading the way in ensuring the county council is run more efficiently and in opposing the bulldozing of the green belt," a spokesman said.

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