Veteran MP Sir Alan Haselhurst will contest his tenth election in a row in Essex after local Conservatives selected him as their candidate.

Sir Alan, 76, had been forced to write to his own party in Saffron Walden to dismiss suggestions he was set to stand down because of his age.

The former House of Commons deputy speaker was Halstead’s MP from 1977 to 2010, when boundary changes moved the town into neighbouring Braintree constituency instead.

Saffron Walden Conservatives readopted Sir Alan as their candidate for next year’s general election at a meeting last Thursday.

Speaking after the meeting, he said: "I am delighted to be re-selected and I look forward to fighting the next general election.

“It has been very heartwarming to hear the amount of vocal support that I've had and the party is now united behind me.

“I have not lost the appetite for the job. It's a job I have craved since my student days and it's a job I love doing.”