AN amateur baker is gearing up for a bun fight after being chosen by the LibDems to stand against Conservative MP Ian Liddell-Grainger at the General Election in Bridgwater and West Somerset.

Justine Baker, 38, of Taunton, is a councillor on Taunton Deane and Somerset County Councils, as well as having worked in the communications team and as constituency organiser for Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne.

The married mother-of-two, who represents Bishop’s Hull on the district council, moved from London to Somerset in 2001 with her Minehead-born husband and has worked as a press officer for various charities and businesses.

Mrs Baker, who was adopted as a baby, is shadow portfolio holder for children and families at County Hall and sits on the foster panel.

She is on the LibDems fast track leadership programme of 40 women and people from ethnic minorities and was selected as the prospective Parliamentary candidate from a field of three after meetings in Minehead and North Petherton on Saturday.

She said she is passionate about Somerset and wants to become MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset as it is the “LibDem gap” in the county.

“I’m delighted to have been selected,” said Mrs Baker, whose hobbies are baking and keeping fit.

“I’ve been working towards this goal for the last few years and wanted to be the candidate for this beautiful part of Somerset as it’s an area I care about deeply.

“I want to be the person local people can contact to help them and campaign on the issues that directly impact on them, such as Hinkley Point C.”

From now until the election in 2015, Mrs Baker says she plans to meet as many people and business owners in the constituency as possible.

Mr Liddell-Grainger said: “I welcome her on board and hope she realises we’re here to do the best we can for the people of West Somerset and Bridgwater.

“It’s important to be here for our community and the people we represent.”


Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) 24,675 votes.

Theo Butt Philip (LibDem) 15,426.

Kathy Pearce (Lab) 9,332.

Peter Hollings (UKIP) 2,604.

Donna Treanor (BNP) 1,282.

Charles Graham (Green) 859.

Bob Cudlipp (Ind) 315.

Conservative majority 9,249.