Tania Mathias has stood down as a councillor for Hampton Wick following her appointment as MP for Twickenham.

A byelection has been scheduled for July 2 and candidates are expected to be announced next week.

Conservative councillor for Hampton Wick Tony Arbour said Dr Mathias took the decision because she wanted to devote her time not just to helping the people of Hampton Wick but to everyone in the Twickenham constituency.

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He said: "I very much hope that, unlike most byelections in Richmond, there will not be an aggressive personal campaign launched by the Lib Dems."

But leader of Richmond’s Liberal Democrats Gareth Roberts said it should be an interesting election.

He said: "It remains to be seen if the insulating effect of a supposedly safe ward will be enough to protect the Tories from a backlash against their high-handed approach to issues such as the proposed merger with Wandsworth or scandals such as their collusion over Gloriana.

"It really could be all to play for in Hampton Wick."

Dr Mathias said it had been an honour to serve as councillor for Hampton Wick for five years and she made the difficult decision because she feared she would not be able to spend the necessary time on her council duties if she were to continue doing both jobs.

She said: "I will always be grateful to the residents of Hampton Wick for putting their trust in me and I look forward to continuing to serve them in Parliament in my new role.

"I will be pushing for better rail services for our area, for high quality education, and will continue to fight Heathrow expansion."

Any residents in the ward not registered to vote must do so by June 16 and the deadline for postal votes or to change existing postal or proxy arrangements should reach Richmond Council by 5pm on June 17.

New applications to vote by proxy must be received by 5pm on June 24.

Visit richmond.gov.uk for more information.