A Labour councillor has been chosen to fight Southend West at next year’s General Election.

Julian Ware-Lane, who represents Southend’s Milton ward, will take on sitting Conservative MP David Amess in a seat the Tories have held since the Fifties.

It is regarded as a safe seat, which the Conservative backbencher won in 2010 with a healthy majority.

Mr Ware-Lane stood in Rayleigh in 2005 and Castle Point four years ago.

He said: “It is a tremendous honour to have been chosen to represent Labour in my home constituency.

“I live within a mile of where I was born, and am committed to making my town a better place.

"I will be aiming to get Labour's message out to as many residents in Southend West as I can as there is an alternative to Conservative failure in the area, and that alternative is Labour.’’ Mr Ware-Lane was born in Westcliff and now lives in Leigh. He was elected to Milton ward – one of the Southend central areas – in 2012 and is nowpart of the ruling Independent, Labour, and Lib Dem administration on the council, albeit as a backbencher.

David Amess retained the seat he has held since 1997 four years ago, polling a healthy majority of 7,270.

Labour finished third behind the Lib Dems in that battle.