UKIP'S prospective parliamentary candidate for Stourbridge James Carver has challenged Tory MPs to take him on in a public debate.

Mr Carver, who is also a West Midlands MEP, has accused the Conservatives of "running scared" following the defection of Douglas Carswell and believes they are frightened to face him.

He has targeted sitting Stourbridge MP Margot James and fellow Tories Richard Shepherd and Bill Cash to participate in a debate on a date that would be convenient to all.

Mr Carver said: "I was invited to be interviewed on Radio WM. The station approached six different Tory MPs to debate with me - but none of them would.

"I would have been delighted to debate with any of them."

He added: "To be honest, I'd be surprised if any of the local Tory MPs has the bottle to take up my challenge, but I'm inviting them to pick up the gauntlet and take part in a debate on the ever changing face of British politics and how that face is an increasingly a Eurosceptic one.

"I'd be interested to know where the Tories stand on Britain's relationship with Europe."

Ms James responded: "I will be happy to debate Carver along with other candidates at hustings events during the election campaign, until then I will be focused on working for my constituents rather than campaigning for my seat.”