A CONSERVATIVE parliamentary candidate is stepping down from his role as a councillor because it would be “inappropriate” for him to contest two elections.

The Conservative parliamentary candidate for Hove, Graham Cox, has announced he is to step down as a Brighton and Hove City Councillor to focus on winning a seat at Westminster.

In a newsletter to his Westbourne ward, Councillor Cox, 52, said: “It would be inappropriate for me to contest both elections, and therefore I will not be standing as a councillor for Westbourne next year - although hopefully I will be able to continue to represent Westbourne at Westminster rather than in the town hall.

“Obviously this will create a vacancy for a Conservative candidate for Westbourne ward.

“We are keen to open the opportunity to stand to as many people as possible, so if you are interested in putting yourself forward do get in touch and I will happily explain what is involved.”

Both elections are due to take place on Thursday, May 7, 2015.

His Conservative colleague and deputy mayor Denise Cobb is standing again and a second candidate is being sought.

Coun Cox added: “Denise and I have to begin our midsummer newsletter by referring to the elections which will be taking place next year.

“Mike Weatherley, the MP for Hove, has announced that he will be standing down next year.

“Mike has fought a brave and largely private battle with cancer whilst continuing to represent us at Westminster.

“We are delighted that he was recently given the all-clear, but fully understand his decision to reassess things following this experience.”