The frontrunner to be Braintree's next MP plans to spend 12 months serving taxpayers in London as well as the town if he is elected in May.

James Cleverly, Conservative candidate for Braintree, already earns £55,161 representing the Bexley and Bromley constituency on the Greater London Authority (GLA) and plans to do so until May 2016.

If he is elected as Braintree's MP then his starting salary for that job will be £67,060, although his GLA salary would be cut to £18,369.

Mr Cleverly said he had put a lot of thought into the decision.

He said: “I have made a commitment to serve out my elected term and from my point of view it’s a case of sticking with what I have promised to do.

“It’s going to be a busy year, I concede that, but I know that my colleagues will make sure Bexley and Bromley are properly looked after."

Mr Cleverly said if he is elected then he will be able to attend both GLA meetings and the House of Commons, while colleagues had agreed to help with London constituency work.

Mr Cleverly said he has already resigned from his other major role as chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and his last meeting will be on March 27.