COLCHESTER Council's waste boss has stepped down weeks before a controversial new recycling scheme is introduced to focus on his Westminster ambitions.

Dominic Graham has been selected as the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Harwich and North Essex.

Mr Graham stood for the seat in 2015.

He said: “This election is a huge opportunity for voters in Harwich & North Essex to change the direction of our country and ensure Britain has a decent opposition. 

“The majority of people in Harwich & North Essex may have voted to leave the EU, but many did not vote for the extreme form of Brexit that Theresa May has imposed on us, and backed by Labour.

“For all those who want to protect our local economy by staying in the Single Market and ensure the people have the final say over what comes next, this is your chance.

“The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to the Conservative Brexit Government and the only party fighting for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united.”

The waste policy which is due to begin in June will see some households in the borough be given wheelie bins and a move to fortnightly collections.

Mr Graham added: "In addition, I can also announce I'm standing down as cabinet member for waste and sustainability, effective immediately. 

"I've spoken to the leader of the council Paul Smith, and he agrees it would not be fair to residents if I were to remain in the cabinet post when my focus will be on the general election."