THE Green Party has announced the candidates it will field in north Essex at next month’s General Election.

Colchester and District Green Party has announced Mark Goacher will contest the town’s seat for the third time.

Mr Goacher is a well-known community campaigner and a member of Colchester Council for Castle Ward.

He also teaches history at Colchester Sixth Form College and has been the Green candidate for Colchester at two previous General Elections - 2015 and 2017.

The Greens will be looking to build on the party’s solid performance in May’s local elections, where Mr Goacher became their first ever councillor in the town.

He said: "This election is an opportunity for us to put green issues at the top of the local agenda.

"We are keen this is seen a climate election and it is important a green voice is there at husting events and the like to keep green issues on peoples' minds.

"Whenever the other parties put climate issues in their manifestos I see it as a victory and I have always said by standing we win because it means people cannot forget about green issues."

Mr Goacher becomes the fourth candidate to be declared for the constituency.

He will be up against fellow councillor Martin Goss of the Lib Dems, Labour’s Tina McKay and incumbent Conservative candidate Will Quince.

Prospective Brexit Party candidate Jon Woods was stood down earlier this week after Nigel Farage pulled his party out of standing in seats which elected Conservatives in 2017.

Peter Banks, a resident of Mersea, will contest the Harwich and North Essex seat - which includes Mersea as well as areas like Dedham, Wivenhoe, Fordham and West Bergholt.

Mr Banks is a Mersea Town Councillor, a musician and anti-nuclear activist.

He said: “I am really pleased to be selected, it is both an honour and a privilege and it has been quite energising.

“I thought it might be daunting but I have already had a lot of messages of support.

“I feel more involved in this political process than anything I’ve been involved with before.”

Mr Banks is standing as General Election candidate for the first time, although he has stood for election to Colchester Council in the past, including in May.

He said: “Green issues are always important in rural areas and large amounts of the constituency are rural.

“The Extinction Rebellion protests undoubtedly brought green issues into the mainstream, which is great from a Green Party point of view.”

The party is fundraising to match the costs to stand both candidates.