Sir Robert Buckland, who will be defending his seat in the renamed Swindon South constituency at the General Election, said he believes the public is ready for the campaign.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement of the July 4 poll was something of a surprise, but Mr Buckland said an election had to happen soon: “I don’t think this is a Brenda from Bristol moment. I think most people think: "Well, now we can get on with it".

And 20 years after being adopted as a candidate for South Swindon, he is looking forward to fighting his  sixth election, and defending his - and the government’s - record since 2010.

Sir Robert said: “I didn’t come into politics to just talk, I came into politics to do things, and I believe that we’ve done that here in Swindon.

“I’ve held hundreds of advice surgeries for residents, I’ve handled thousands of pieces of casework, and I’ve spoken up for those who don’t have a voice.

We’ve come so far together since 2010, investing record amounts in our health services, including a brand new £26m Emergency Department at the Great Western Hospital and an £18m government investment in the Radiotherapy Unit, which stops the need for that journey to Oxford for anybody who requires that vital treatment.

“We have invested yearly in that perennial issue of potholes, and in Swindon, we have upgraded major interchanges, including junction 15 and junction 16, and a host of other important roads.

"I’ve fought hard to help restore our much-loved industrial heritage here in Swindon, including £5m from the Government’s Towns Fund to start the refurbishment of the Health Hydro, and restoration of our community assets in the Railway Village and of course, the Carriage Works as well.

"Recently, the Prime Minister broke ground on the new development at the Honda site, which is going to bring around 11,000 new jobs and billions of pounds worth of investment into Swindon. I worked hard with the council and the developer to make sure that site got the planning permission that it needed, in order to see our town embark on a new generation of jobs, investment and growth.”

Other candidates announced standing on Swindon South on July 4 will be Heidi Alexander for the Labour Party and the Green Party candidate Rod Hebden.