SOUTH Essex Tory MPs who have taken a hardline stance on Brexit may be saved from having to compete against Brexit Party candidates.

While Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris will face a challenge from the party, if a general election is called, others may get a clearer run at retaining their seats to avoid splitting the “Brexiteer” vote.

The Brexit Party this week announced a list of Eastern candidates but these did not include a challenge for Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and MP or Basildon and Billericay’s John Baron.

Mrs Harris will go head to head with Brexit Party candidate Michael Heaver – the current Brexit Party MEP for East of England.

The Brexit Party has stated that it currently has 635 approved candidates, 425 who have been allocated constituencies. Only 225 have been publicly named with more to be announced shortly.

Although no announcement has been made regarding Sir David and Mr Duddridge’s constituencies, both MPs told the Echo they believed candidates would be announced.

Sir David said: “In the many General Elections that I have contested, any manner of candidates have stood against me.

“I have always been careful not to personalise campaigns but have stood on my record, my beliefs and my plans for the future.

“I would hope that everyone understands my position on Brexit.

“This is that the referendum result should be delivered.

“We need to secure the best possible deal with our former trading partners so that we can continue to trade with them in the future.”

Other south Essex MPs were approached for comment, but failed to respond.

Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice said: “The message is simple: “We are ready. We are ready to fight a general election. We are ready to deliver a clear-break Brexit. We are ready to restore trust in democracy. We are ready to hold those who broke their promises to account and change politics for good.

“It fills me with pride to showcase these game-changing individuals and future politicians who will be representing the Brexit Party.

“They are both ordinary people and extraordinary people who will restore excellence as well as common sense to our failing Parliament.”