FORMER Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell has today confirmed he is to stand as the Liberal Democrat candidate in June's General Election. 

Sir Bob had represented the town for 18 years until 2015 but was ousted by Tory Will Quince in 2015.

Sir Bob said: “I was not going to stand in the General Election planned for 2020, but with the General Election brought forward by three years I have been under a lot of pressure to stand again in six weeks’ time.

“I have given the matter considerable thought.

"My wife has said she will back me, as she has always done previously for which I am immensely grateful, and pledges of support and encouragement have come from friends and party members.”

Sir Bob, who was knighted in 2012 in recognition of his public service his home town, is a former Mayor of Colchester and Colchester Council leader. 

The former MP was appointed to the non-political post of town's High Steward after losing the 2015 election.

He has withdrawn from any civic engagements which are planned during the General Election period.