Police were forced to confirm an MP is "not a police officer" after he was spotted wearing a stab proof vest in a pub. 

Rayleigh and Wickford MP, Mark Francois, spent a Friday evening on patrol with Essex Police, alongside both PC Sawyer and PC Curtis from the new “Rayleigh Town Team”.

A picture posted on Twitter from inside a Wetherspoons pub showed the MP wearing what appeared to be a black stab-proof vest with "Police" written on it. 

Essex Police quickly took to Twitter to confirm he is not a police officer but spent an evening on patrol with the force. 

Mr Francois said: "It was great to spend an evening with Essex Police and to learn more, at first hand, about the challenges they face.

"I was particularly pleased to meet with PC Sawyer and PC Curtis from the newly formed Rayleigh Town Team, which focuses on preventing and reducing crime in and around Rayleigh Town Centre.

"PC Sawyer and PC Curtis and the wider team have quickly built up an impressive rapport with local businesses.

"It really is great to see a return to proactive local policing.

"Thanks to our proactive Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, Essex Police has already expanded by 150 officers in the last year, and this is continuing under their ongoing ‘Fit the Bill’ recruitment campaign. With the Government’s recent commitment to provide an additional 20,000 extra police officers nationally, this should help take Essex Police back to its previous historic high of over 3,500 officers within a few years.”