RACHEL GILMOUR has stepped down from chairing Mid Devon’s scrutiny committee to devote more time to trying to become an MP. 

Cllr Gilmour (Liberal Democrat, Clare & Shuttern), told this week’s meeting that it would be her last in the scrutiny committee chair because of her campaign to try and take control of the new Tiverton and Minehead seat at the next general election. 

In her dry sense of humour, she quipped that regular public attendees to the meetings who routinely ask questions would be “devastated” about it being her final meeting, adding that she had “numerous tissues” for them. 

“I’ve had a fantastic first year as a new councillor chairing this committee,” she said. 

“It has its challenges, but I have worked with some very committed people who have the community’s best interests at heart.” 

Cllr Gilmour has been a Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate three times, most recently for Taunton Deane in 2015. She was the Liberal Democrat Mid Devon District councillor for Canonsleigh Ward from 1995 until 1996. 

The mother of four, who works as a communications director gave a brief but nameless reference to her Conservative opponent, Ian Liddell-Grainger, who is currently the Conservative MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset and who frequently criticises Cllr Gilmour. 

The pair will contest the new Tiverton and Minehead seat at the next general election alongside candidates including Reform UK’s Frederick Keen, Labour’s Jonathan Barter and Green candidate Laura Buchanan. 

By Bradley Gerrard