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'It's time for me to move on' Douglas Carswell on decision not to stand for re-election

Douglas Carswell recently left Ukip to become an Independent Credit: PA

Former Ukip MP Douglas Carswell will not stand in next month's General Election.

Mr Carswell said he would be voting Conservative on June 8 but has decided that "it is time for me to move on to other things".

The Clacton MP sensationally defected from the Tories to Ukip in 2014 and became the eurosceptic party's first elected MP in a subsequent by-election.

But he fell out spectacularly with then leader Nigel Farage and quit Ukip earlier this year to sit as an independent.

He was facing a potential challenge in the upcoming election from millionaire businessman and former Ukip funder Arron Banks, who accused him of deliberately undermining the party and Mr Farage.

He had a solid 12,000 majority as a Conservative in the 2010 election, holding the seat by almost 3,500 votes for Ukip in 2015.

Douglas Carswell and Nigel Farage in 2015 Credit: PA
  • 2010 elected as MP for Clacton
  • 2014 - He defected from the Tories to Ukip becoming their first elected MP
  • 2017 - Left Ukip to become an Independent

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Clacton MP Douglas Carswell won't stand for re-election

Douglas Carswell recently left Ukip to become an Independent Credit: PA

The MP for Clacton Douglas Carswell has announced he won't be seeking re-election on June 8th saying he has never felt 'more proud and honoured' than when representing his Essex constituents.

Read his full statement below:

"I have never felt more proud and honoured than when representing my Essex constituents in the House of Commons.

Over the past twelve years I have had great fun working with, and getting to know, many wonderful local people. Together, we ran all sorts of local campaigns, from safeguarding local services to getting a new seafront. Local has always come first.

As I promised in my maiden speech, I have done everything possible to ensure we got, and won, a referendum to leave the European Union - even changing parties and triggering a by election to help nudge things along. Last summer, we won that referendum. Britain is going to become a sovereign country again.

I have decided that I will not now be seeking re-election. I intend to vote Conservative ‪on June 8th and will be offering my full support to whoever the Clacton Constituency Conservatives select as their candidate.

It is sometimes said that all political careers end in failure. It doesn't feel like that to me today. I have stood for Parliament five times, won four times, and helped win the referendum last June. Job done. I'm delighted.

Having been an MP for about half my adult life, I believe that it is time for me to move on to other things. I look forward to being able to read newspapers without appearing in them.

It has been the highest honour to have represented Clacton in the House of Commons."

– Douglas Carswell MP, Clacton, Independent

Two missing girls from Essex could be in Ipswich

Olivia Nicholls-Barr (left) and Amy Phillips (right) Credit: Essex Police

Essex police searching for two missing girls from Essex, say they could be in the Ipswich area.

15-year old Amy Phillips from Halstead and 14-year old Olivia Nicholls-Barr from Braintree were last seen at 8.30am on Monday 17th April.

Police believe the girls are together and are concerned for their welfare.

  • Amy is 5ft 2ins tall and was wearing a black hooded top with white stripes, black leggings and white trainers.
  • Olivia is 5ft 2ins tall and was wearing blue skinny jeans, black tracksuit top and grey trainers.

Police say the girls have links to both the Braintree and Ipswich areas.

Lorry driver to be sentenced over steam engine crash

A steam engine fell onto a bus in Essex

A lorry driver is due to be sentenced over a crash which saw a steam engine fall onto a bus in Essex.

Philip Last was charged with dangerous driving after more than 20 people were injured at East Road in East Mersea near Colchester in September 2015.

Bus driver Michael Birch was almost killed in the crash after the steam engine rolled off a low loader and onto his cabin.

Family pays tribute to young Essex singer who was part of first 'Choir boyband'

Patrick Aspbury Credit: Patrick's family

The family of a young singer from Essex who died after being struck by a train, have paid tribute to a 'sensitive, thoughtful and caring person' who was a 'much-loved son, brother, family member and cherished friend.'

23 year old Patrick Aspbury died at Chelmsford railway station on the 12th April.

He was one third of 'The Choirboys', the country's first choir boyband, which hit the headlines in 2005 after a nationwide search for choral singers.

Their album became the fastest selling classical recording in history.

Patrick started his singing career as a chorister at Chelmsford Cathedral before moving to Ely Cathedral at the age of ten.

ITV News Anglia interviewed Patrick in November 2005 Credit: ITV News Anglia

"It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the loss of much-loved son, brother, family member and cherished friend Patrick. In addition to his singing, Patrick was also a talented and promising composer, keen footballer and Spurs fan, and above all a sensitive, thoughtful, and caring person. He will be sorely missed."

– Family statement

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Essex election candidate Arron Banks: 'I know nothing about Clacton'

Arron Banks Credit: PA

Former Ukip donor Arron Banks has admitted he knows "nothing at all" about the Essex constituency where he hopes to become MP in the June 8 general election.

The millionaire businessman, who bankrolled the Leave.EU campaign in last year's Brexit referendum, has said he will challenge former Ukip MP Douglas Carswell in Clacton.

He promised to run a "positive" campaign and said he would take no salary and serve for only one term if elected. But he told BBC Radio Essex he only knew the town from a "fabulous day out" during the referendum campaign and as a hotbed of euroscepticism.

Asked what he knew about Clacton, Bristol-based Mr Banks said: "Not a great deal, but we are down there on Monday. I went there during the referendum and had a fabulous day out and I think we are looking forward to getting to know people down there.

"I know nothing about Clacton at all, apart from the fact that it is one of the strongest supporting areas for euroscepticism. I have got a reputation for just saying it as it is. My plan is to go down to Clacton, see what the issues are and then we will start to campaign."

Mr Banks is no longer a member of Ukip and it was unclear what banner he will stand under or whether the eurosceptic party would put up a candidate against him.

Two arrested over shooting death

Two arrested in connection with gun death Credit: Essex Police

A man and woman have been arrested in connection with a shooting in Wickford, Essex

Police arrested a 27-year-old man on suspicion of murder and a 25-year-old woman on suspicion of attempted murder.

The arrests were made in connection with the killing of Hugh Doherty, 45.

Mr Doherty was shot at about 9.45pm on Easter Sunday at Cranfield Park Avenue, Wickford. He was taken to hospital but died from his injuries. He died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

A 35-year-old woman, who suffered multiple stab wounds during the incident, remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition.

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