The Conservatives’ candidate for Colchester in the next general election has stood down from her role, citing work and family responsibilites.

The search has begun for a prospective parliamentary candidate to replace Jill Skalla, a former boss at the National Children’s Homes charity, who has resigned after being chosen in March 2007.

A Conservative spokesman said: “While this is a huge disappointment to the Colchester Conservative Association, they understand her decision and offer Jill and her family their support and best wishes for the future.”