An MP has called for the removal of a vicar after it emerged he was jailed for allegedly having sex with young girls.

The Rev David Tudor had the convictions overturned on appeal and was freed.

However, Castle Point MP Bob Spink said Mr Tudor, who has been the subject of a fresh police investigation, should be "removed from the priesthood completely".

Dr Spink said that although Mr Tudor's conviction in 1988 had been quashed, he felt the case raised concerns.

In a separate case Mr Tudor admitted having sex with a girl but insisted she was 16.

Dr Spink said: "I have written to the Bishop of Chelmsford and asked him to put the protection of children above the protection of the church's priests and I am waiting for a response."

Mr Tudor, who is married with three children, was recently reinstated as Rector of Canvey after a year-long investigation by West Yorkshire Police into "child protection issues", which resulted in no charges.

He was supported by the MP during the investigations.

However, now Dr Spink has called for Mr Tudor to be sacked after learning he was jailed for six months in February 1988 for indecently assaulting three girls aged 13 to 15.

He served his prison sentence, minus remission, but an appeal court hearing quashed the convictions ruling them "un-safe and unsatisfactory".

It was ruled the three cases should have been heard separately, rather than together.

The allegations were made while Mr Tudor was chaplain at St Bede's School in Redhill, Surrey.

He later became curate of St Philip's Church, in Reigate.

The then 31-year-old then bachelor was said to have had an affair with a 13-year-old girl, which lasted two years.

He was also said to have had a relationship with a 15-year-old girl after meeting her at a youth group at her school.

In a separate trial in January 1988, Mr Tudor was charged with the indecent assault of another teenage girl.

He admitted having sex with her, but insisted she was 16 at the time.

He was also acquitted on this charge.

Dr Spink called for the Diocese of Chelmsford, which employs Mr Tudor, to investigate why the Canvey vicar was hired despite his past.

Dr Spink said: "I was first made aware of these matters by the police two weeks ago and I immediately wrote to Essex Child Protection and the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev John Warren Gladwin.

"I am yet to receive any answers to my questions in my letter to the bishop about whether he knew, and particularly if the church sought to protect its vicar, rather than our children."

Yesterday, the church appeared to have closed ranks around Mr Tudor.

No one answered the door at the rectory where the vicar lives with his family and no one was available for comment at St Nicholas's Church.

Neither the Bishop of Chelmsford nor the Bishop of Bradwell were available to talk about the issue.

However, diocese spokesman Ralph Meloy said Mr Tudor's superiors would continue to support him.

He said: "In 1987, allegations were made against Mr Tudor implying relationships occurred with minors.

"These allegations were strenuously denied by Mr Tudor and they were later tested in court.

"A short prison term was imposed but, on appeal, the court quashed that conviction and removed it from the record. It is clear, therefore, that Mr Tudor has no criminal record.

"He was only appointed at Canvey after rigorous procedures had been followed by the church, which has in place a very clear policy of child protection.

"It expects the highest standards of its clergy at all times and of all who work with children.

"Furthermore, the police have thoroughly and exhaustively investigated Mr Tudor for more than a year and they have told the church that he has no case to answer."

Bill Sharp, Castle Point Council's planning chairman and a friend of Mr Tudor's, said: "All of that went on 20 years ago and he was acquitted on appeal.

"I have to base my opinion on all the things David and his family have done since he has been here and I continue to offer 100 per cent support to him and his family."