MP Bob Spink has launched a new political party – the Independent Save Our Green Belt party.

The Castle Point MP, who is determined to keep his seat at the forthcoming general election, says his decision was based on his appetite to protect the borough’s green belt.

He firmly believes it is an issue which will unite geared up eight local residents to stand in each of Castle Point’s mainland wards in the summer’s borough elections.

Yet critics are convinced the new party is just a desperate last-ditch attempt to save his political skin and avoid defeat in the general election.

Dr Spink said: “Green belt is an issue very close to my heart and I know it’s important to many residents.

“I launched the Save Our Greenbelt campaign in 2006 to protect Hadleigh Park from development.

“We won that battle and I hope that, together, we will win many more.

“The Tories want to build on our borough’s vital and much loved green belt. We want to stop them.”

There are currently a number of green belt patches in Castle Point threatened by development.

On Canvey, 24 acres of green space between the Dutch Village and Cornelius Vermuyden School has been earmarked for 400 homes, a new health centre and a sports facility by Castle Point Council.

About 13 acres of the Thundersley Plotlands Wildlife Site, near The Chase, is also threatened by a 150-house development, put forward by Barratt Homes.

There are also fears over the long-term future of green areas near Hadleigh Castle and parts of Daws Heath.

The party will also campaign for more bobbies on the beat and better facilities for children and the elderly. He revealed how on a national level it will back quitting the EU and cutting immigration.

Dr Spink added: “I think people believe there is too much party politics in local and central government.

“People are fed-up and they want more independent and more transparent politicians.”

Vera Partridge, chairman of the borough’s Castle Point Conservative Association, said the green belt party was a desperate bid.

She said: “He knows he is under threat this election and this appears to be an attempt to prop up his independent status.”