FRINTON councillor Giles Watling has been reselected as the Conservative candidate for the Clacton seat at the upcoming General Election.

Mr Watling, who is also Tendring Council's cabinet member for regeneration, cut current MP Douglas Carswell's majority from 12,404 votes at the Clacton by-election in 2014 to just 3,437 votes in 2015.

The 64-year-old actor was officially selected as the Tory candidate at a special meeting of the Clacton Conservative Association in Holland-on-Sea today.

Earlier this week, Mr Watling said: "I have been down the election road twice and reduced Douglas' majority to just under 3,500.

"I have been out on the streets of Clacton supporting our county council candidates and have had a great reaction on the doorstep.

"I feel our current MP has ignored us recently while he has been getting on with other things.

"It is about time someone fought for our area and I think we need a local person to do that."

Mr Watling’s friend and cabinet colleague Neil Stock, the leader of Tendring Council, announced he was also intending to stand for the seat last week.

But it is understood that Mr Stock decided to stand aside to avoid a “divisive” selection contest before backing Mr Watling’s bid to become the town’s next MP.

Jeff Bray was selected as Ukip’s candidate following a hustings event on Wednesday, but is still waiting to find out whether the decision has been ratified by Ukip’s National Executive Committee.