The Liberal Democrats have selected a councillor and previous town mayor as their candidate for the general election.

Jon Whitehouse of St John’s Road, Epping, was announced yesterday (April 1) as the candidate for the Epping Forest constituency following a number of years as both a district and county councillor.

He has represented Epping and Theydon Bois at Essex County Council since 2013, and in 2012 he served as Epping town mayor.

In his work as councillor, Mr Whitehouse has campaigned for road safety measures and attempted to preserve the green belt against development.

Speaking about Lib Dem plans to protect education spending, improve mental health services and preserve the environment, Mr Whitehouse claimed “These are all issues close to my heart.”

He said: “There are many vital issues that can only be decided in parliament and I am campaigning to ensure that residents' voices are heard when parliament makes decisions."

Incumbent Conservative MP Eleanor Laing has held the Epping Forest constituency since 1997.

She won the seat in 2010 with 54 per cent of the vote.

Mrs Laing and Mr Whitehouse are joined by Labour candidate Gareth Barrett, Green candidate Anna Widdup, UKIP candidate Andrew Smith and Mark Wadsworth for the Young People's Party.