Essex

UKIP donor Arron Banks will not contest Clacton seat

Aaron Banks
Image caption Businessman Arron Banks originally planned to take on current Clacton MP Douglas Carswell

Former UKIP donor Arron Banks has said he will not stand for the Clacton seat in the general election after a fact-finding mission to the town.

The businessman headed to Clacton-on-Sea after he admitted he knew "nothing" about the Essex town.

But following his visit, he said he would be backing local party councillor Jeff Bray.

Mr Banks initially planned to take on current MP Douglas Carswell, before he announced he would not be standing.

The multimillionaire businessman said: "I have no intention of standing in the way of hard-working activists who are the soul of the party.

"Therefore, after visiting Clacton, I believe it would be wrong of me to stand against Jeff in the forthcoming hustings."

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Image caption Douglas Carswell, who won the seat for UKIP in 2015, announced last week he would not be standing - and said he would be voting Conservative on 8 June

Mr Banks previously said he only knew Clacton from a "fabulous day out" during the referendum campaign, and as one of the strongest supporting areas for Euro-scepticism.

He said he has agreed to give the local UKIP party financial assistance to fight the election.

His arrival in the constituency follows the announcement by knife crime campaigner Caroline Shearer that she intends to stand as an independent there.

Her son, Jay Whiston, was 17 years old when he was murdered by Edward Redman in Colchester in 2012.

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Media captionOur quick guide to Clacton-on-Sea

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