PROSPECTIVE Labour MP Carl Morris is to stand down as a councillor in May.
The Grays Riverside councillor and group chairman announced that he will not be contesting his council seat, whatever the outcome of the General Election.
He said: “It would be wrong for me to even consider remaining as a councillor after the General Election whatever the outcome, and that is why I have taken this difficult decision.
“It is a great honour to be selected and it would be an even greater one if I am elected.”
Cllr Morris was first elected to Thurrock Council in 1988 and has represented Grays Riverside since 1997.
He added: “I’ve been privileged to represent the people of Grays Riverside for many years, and other parts of our borough before that and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their support.
“I’m a Thurrock man born and bred, and I’m really looking forward to the challenge of fighting for ― and hopefully representing ― the whole of the Thurrock constituency.
“I’ll miss being a Thurrock councillor and I will miss fighting for the people of Grays Riverside in the council chamber. But I’m giving this up for the chance of representing a wider Thurrock constituency and doing so in Westminster.
“Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped me in my political career so far, my friends, colleagues and the people of Thurrock. Thank you all.”
Reacting to Cllr’s Morris’ decision, prospective Tory candidate for Grays Riverside, Charles Key said:
“For us, this doesn’t change things. The key matter is that the Conservative party dominate both locally and nationally.
Cllr Morris also received an encouraging boost as the Essex Federation of Small Businesses has welcomed his selection.
Essex FSB spokesman for Thurrock, Ross Bannister, said: “The FSB is a non-party political organisation and works with officials from any political party if they are working in the interests of small businesses.
“During the last 18 months Councillor Carl Morris has worked hard on behalf of local small businesses and has had several meetings with Essex FSB to discuss issues of concern within the Borough.
“We hope that in his new role as Labour’s candidate for Thurrock at the next General Election he will continue to work for small businesses and if the people of Thurrock elect him as their next Member of Parliament we will be looking to work with him to make the voice of Thurrock’s small businesses heard in the House of Commons too!”