UKIP has selected its MP candidate for the 2015 general election - and he’s confident UKIP will be much more than just a protest vote.

Tim Aker, 28, who lives in Aveley, will bid to raise his profile locally as a candidate in the euro elections this year before turning his focus to the general election next year.

Mr Aker is currently head of policy for UKIP. Since graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in history and politics, he has worked for the Tax Payers Alliance and run his own campaign group called Get Britain Out - a reference to Britain’s current membership to the European Union.

UKIP gained its first ever seat on Thurrock Council in the 2012 elections, when Robert Ray was elected.

Mr Aker said: “UKIP are a growing force in Thurrock. Every weekend we’re leafleting two or three polling districts and our membership numbers are increasing.

“We’re taking votes from the Conservatives and from Labour and, more crucially, we’re getting non-voters out.”

He added: “Unless the Lib Dems field a local candidate, i’ll be the only candidate born and bred in Thurrock.”