THE Green Party has picked Clacton environmentalist Chris Southall to be their candidate for the Clacton by-election.

Mr Southall, of Burrs Road, Great Clacton, was chosen unanimously at a meeting of Tendring Green party members on Tuesday.

He has stood in previous general elections for the party, as well as for district and county elections.

Mr Southall, formerly an engineer at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough, said: “It is more important than ever to have Green ideas heard.

“Inequality is rampant in the UK with news that the 1,000 most wealthy people own more than the poorest 40 per cent of families put together.

“We must confront creeping privatisation of our health service and a widespread denial of climate change - the greatest threat facing us over the coming decades.”

Mr Southall has been self-employed most of his life, working as a potter, computer engineer, drummer and with people who have special needs.

He lives with his partner Rosie and her teenage daughter in Clacton where they have an Eco house and Permaculture centre, which is often opened to the public.