Bob Neill, the partner of a senior Southend councillor, has been selected to fight the Bromley and Chislehurst by-election.

Mr Neill, partner of Southend deputy mayor, Daphne White, is currently Tory leader in the London Assembly.

He beat off competition from two candidates from Tory leader David Cameron's A-list.

The by-election, on June 29, was prompted by the death of Tory MP Eric Forth.