THE UK Independence Party have selected current West Midlands MEP James Carver to contest the Stourbridge constituency at next year's general election.

He will be attempting to overturn a majority of more than 5,000, obtained by sitting Conservative MP Margot James.

Mr Carver, aged 44, originally hails from South London and is an umbrella maker by trade.

He joined UKIP in 1996 and moved to the West Midlands in 1999.

He said: "People will ask, why having recently become an MEP, should I suddenly want to become an MP, but it's only through Westminster that UKIP will be able to affect legislation.

"I think the fact that I'm already an MEP just shows how serious UKIP are taking Stourbridge and sends out a very strong message to the other candidates.

"UKIP have built up a strong following, not only in Stourbridge, but throughout Dudley borough and I think that's going to make for a very exciting and interesting contest."

Speaking of the competition, Mr Carver said: "Both Margot James and Labour's Peter Lowe are strong candidates and I'm certain it will be a very lively campaign.

"I'm also aware of the importance of the Stourbridge constituency, as like Braintree, it acts as a strong barometer for the rest of the country. I will be speaking up for small businesses in particular - it's not just about Europe."

He added: "I will be talking about the positives for Britain and look forward to engaging with the electorate."