CASTLE Point MP Bob Spink claims he is being hijacked by Tory grandees who are trying to deselect him because of his outspoken criticism of them.

The MP claims to have made "very serious enemies" fighting what he calls "corruption and vested interests" and accuses some senior members of the Conservative Association executive of having a private agenda in their bid to oust him.

Dr Spink made the comments as it emerged he had written to the local Tory association to request his reselection as their candidate for the next General Election.

Association chairman Adrian Roper did not want to discuss Dr Spink's comments, but said constituency members were anxious to get the selection process under way. He said: "Dr Spink has written requesting reselection. He has to trigger this process and a vote will be held in the next few weeks.

"The executive council could vote either way, but if it is a no vote there are a number of ways it can go.

"He can ask for a postal ballot of paid-up members or he can ask to be fast-tracked through to the final stage of the selection process, where he would be up against the last one or two remaining candidates.

"We are keen to get this out of the way as soon as possible."

Dr Spink survived a bid to deselect him in 2005, when a petition was circulated among Tory members after the MP's controversial and much-publicised court battle with Conservative councillor Bill Sharp, who was accused of harassing him. Dr Spink later dropped the charges and Mr Sharp was given a warning.

He has been scathing about the hundreds of new homes approved on green belt land at The Chase, in Thundersley.

And in December, council leader Pam Challis said she was "astounded" to hear the MP had launched an attack on his own party, claiming a Tory councillor had acted as an intermediary with a local businessman to offer him an anonymous donation, which he turned down.

More recently, he has faced criticism for employing his Dorset-based ex-wife Janet as his diary secretary.

However, in recent weeks the MP has appeared to be trying to smooth over his differences with constituency members by backing a proposed transfer of Castle Point Council's housing stock to Swan Housing Association. He had previously opposed the transfer.

Bob Spink writes for the Echo

"It would be safest for me to refuse to comment, but that would deny local people information about what is going on with their democracy.

It is for Castle Point residents to decide who will be their MP, not a small number of self-selected individuals with their private agendas.

My record is clear. I am one of the hardest working of all 646 MPs. I do my very best for each individual resident, irrespective of their politics, and I fight hard on the key local, national and international issues.

Of course, I have made very serious enemies. So it is not surprising that some senior members of the Conservative Association executive have been working, yet again, to deselect me.

I also acknowledge that some councillors think I am disloyal for backing my constituents rather than them on key issues like overdevelopment and dubious planning decisions, public toilet closures and the provision of decent services like social housing and facilities for vulnerable people, local kids and elderly residents. But I think my actions have helped to bring about change and improve our council.

I will always put the public interest before party politics; this is the Conservative way and is simply not negotiable, whatever the association executive decides.

I have an important job to do and local elections will soon be upon us. If the usual suspects force another distracting deselection attempt, I will ignore them and get on with my job, working for my community and country; that is what local people expect of me.

People understand the issues and are sick of political infighting, private agendas and vested interests; they will not forgive private attempts to hijack their Member of Parliament.

I hope local residents will give me the same support I have always tried my very best to give them."