BATTLE lines are being drawn ahead of the impending General Election in December.

The Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems have all unveiled their Maldon candidates for the December poll.

Sitting MP John Whittingdale has confirmed he will be in the running for the Tories.

He told the Standard: “I was re-adopted as Conservative candidate a year ago and will certainly be standing.

“I have been very proud to represent Maldon in Parliament since 1992.

“Throughout that time, I have done my best to serve my constituents both by speaking up for their interests in the House of Commons and by providing help and advice locally to any who have asked me.

“I welcome this election which provides a chance for the country to elect a new Parliament which can finally deliver Brexit and get on with tackling the many pressing domestic issues.

“I very much hope that the electors of the Maldon constituency will give me their support once again and allow me to continue to serve as their MP.”

Maldon Festival co-founder Colin Baldy is standing for the Liberal Democrats.

He said: “Having lived in Maldon for over 12 years, I know how frustrated people are by the Conservative hegemony in the district.

“I hope that I can offer people a real alternative.

“In voting for me, they know that I get things done.

“In addition to founding the Maldon Festival, I was a founding member of the Friends of the Moot Hall - serving as vice-chair for two years.

“I have led several successful campaigns to improve the lot of local residents and have been campaigning for an arts centre for Maldon for 11 years.

“I am frustrated by the complacency of local Conservatives, who have done nothing to address the many problems facing residents.

“They still haven’t issued an air quality action plan for Market Hill, which should have happened months ago.

“If we don’t act to address the climate emergency now by dealing with problems such as that of Market Hill, latest indications from the UN Climate Change conference show that large areas of the Maldon district will be under water in a matter of years.

“This includes the whole of Burnham.”

Labour candidate Stephen Capper has lived in the area for nearly 30 years.

He said: “The issues from nine years of Tory Government are applied here in our constituency. People will care about the national picture but they are directly affected by the impact locally, on local actions, schools, hospitals, services, the cost of living and what that means for them and their families.

“The issue of Brexit is full of broken promises and broken laws and no progress. Labour has the only intelligent position on Brexit which is to respect the original binary vote, strike a deal, put it to the people and allow everyone to move on to an agreed post-Brexit world.”

He added: “The biggest issue of all though is climate change and the environmental crisis that affects us all.

“Only the Labour Party stands for a Green New Deal that is the most radical statement in recent political history.”