A SOUTH Essex MP has been selected by the Basildon and Thurrock Conservative Association to contest the seat at the next general election.

Stephen Metcalfe, who serves as the Conservative MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, was re-selected on Saturday as the Tories look to secure an unprecedented fifth consecutive general election victory.

Under UK law, the next general election must be held before January 2025, meaning the forthcoming election will in all likelihood be held next year.

Mr Metcalfe has represented the South Basildon and East Thurrock parliamentary constituency since the seat was formed in 2010.

The former Epping Forest district councillor increased his share of the vote by 9.3 per cent at the last election in 2019, winning 29,973 votes; his nearest challenger, Labour’s Jack Ferguson, won 10,051 votes.

In a statement following his re-selection, Mr Metcalfe, 57, said: "I thank the federation for their ongoing support.

"It is a privilege to serve as the member of parliament.

"I am honoured to have been reselected and look forward to continuing to work hard for South Basildon and East Thurrock."

The leader of the Conservative-led Basildon Council, Andrew Baggott, added: "I am really pleased that Steve Metcalfe has been reselected to fight the next General Election."