A BELGIUM-BASED journalist says he can seize the South Swindon seat from the Conservatives at next month's general election.

Labour's Sarah Church is reckoned to be the closest rival of Tory Robert Buckland, who was appointed as a member of Boris Johnson's cabinet in the summer.

But Justin Stares – "outraged" at the delay in delivering the EU referendum result – is standing for the Brexit Party and believes he can upset the odds in the town he once called home.

Mr Stares said: “I’ve never stood for office before but I was very frustrated and outraged that the decision from 2016 had still not been implemented.

“So, I decided to put my head above the parapet and become a politician because people need someone who is willing to stand up for the sovereign decision to leave the EU.

“I have no political experience but I think it’s a good thing to get real people from other walks of life in as an alternative to career politicians who are not doing a good enough job and care more about power and their party than doing anything useful."

Mr Stares grew up in Chiseldon and delivered the Adver around Old Town.

He added: “If I won, I would move back to Swindon – I would be very happy to see my children running around Chiseldon as I once did but it’s just a dream for now.”

After being educated at Lethbridge Junior School, Churchfields School and the University of Bath, Mr Stares went to Belgium to complete a post-graduate course in EU politics.

He wrote advertising features for the Adver and other publications when he was 17 through his parents’ news agency, then later worked as a journalist in the London trade press.

Mr Stares applied for the Brexit Party candidacy over the summer and set out his stance on issues facing the town, including the mass exodus of shops from the town centre, waiting time woes at GWH and the upcoming departure of Honda.

Mr Stares added: “Skilled Honda workers deserve good alternatives here and we shouldn’t lose those skills, so I think we should focus more on the people than on the site itself.

“My father has Parkinson’s and I’m familiar with the issues he’s faced dealing with the NHS.

“We have a dual system in the UK where people with enough money can go private and those without have to put up with horrible waiting times, which is unfair.

“In Belgium, there is one world-class system and I think we can learn from healthcare systems that are better than ours.

“Affordable housing needs to be built in deprived areas. Business rates should be zeroed out and a small online tax should be introduced to help high street shops.

“The Brexit Party was the number one party in the EU elections and if those people turn out again, I’ll win.”

“There were five million Labour Party voters who also voted leave, so I’ll be taking votes from that party as well as the Conservatives and that might be enough.”