DUDLEY South Conservatives have selected borough councillor Mike Wood to fight the 2015 General Election.

The father-of-two, who serves on Dudley Council representing Pedmore and Stourbridge East, was selected out of four candidates at the borough's first-ever open primary style in-party election - held at The Kingswinford School.

Cllr Wood will fight to keep the key Dudley South seat for the Tories next May after sitting Conservative MP Chris Kelly announced he would not be seeking re-election due to personal reasons.

Mr Kelly said: “I have known Mike for nearly 20 years. He will make a great MP for ‪Dudley South."

Cllr Wood, who won his seat on Dudley Council in May this year after a six previous local election defeats, beat fellow Tory hopefuls Sibby Buckle, a pharmacist from Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire based physiotherapist Helen Harrison and Hammersmith and Fulham councillor/marketing campaigns professional Greg Smith to be named the new Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Dudley South.

The new aspiring MP, who is currently assistant to Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris, said of his selection: "My head's still in a bit of a spin but obviously I'm delighted.

"The open primary seemed to go very well; there were a reasonable number of people out on a night like last night with all the mist and fog. It was a good thing to open up the decision to the whole community."

He added: "There's just over five months to go until the election; that's not a long time to go out and get our message across as to why we need a Conservative government and me as the local MP. The only way we're going to do that is to start immediately and work extremely hard. The election is likely going to be very tight in Dudley South; that just means we need to work harder than everyone else."

The 38-year-old politician has already promised to back the campaigners fighting against plans to build a massive new indoor waste centre in Brierley Hill and pledged to campaign for improvements to the main arterial traffic routes in and round his constituency.

He said if he becomes MP on May 7 2015 he would step down as Mr Morris's assistant but he would probably retain his councillor role until the next local election in 2016 to avoid a costly by-election.

He added: "I'd be listening to local people's views on this but there's no great appetite for a June or July by-election in Pedmore and Stourbridge East - it costs about £20,000 to organise.

"Instead I'd look to local causes to donate my councillors' allowances."

Cllr Wood said he'll be busy knocking doors in Dudley South over the next few days meeting constituents and this Sunday (November 30) he'll be switching on the Christmas lights in Wall Heath at 3pm at a festive event led by landlady Michelle Preston, of the Horse and Jockey pub, who is chairman of newly-formed residents' and business group Wall Heath Village People.