A former leader of the Labour group on Suffolk County Council is to stand for Parliament as Green candidate in Suffolk Coastal at the next general election.

Julian Cusack led the Labour group at County Hall during the 1980s, but in recent years has become a leading figure in Suffolk's Green Party which has been making significant gains in council elections over recent years.

Mr Cusack, from Middleton, is a professional accountant and company director in the insurance sector.

He is the Chair of Suffolk Coastal Green Party, and is establishing an agroforestry farm near his home.

He was nominated as the party candidate after debating with two other local members at a hustings in Woodbridge Library.

He said: "We see huge opportunities to improve the quality of our lives in the Constituency. Our policies can help provide more affordable homes, sustainable local jobs and better public transport.

"Above all it will keep Suffolk the way we all love it - a beacon for rural values, rich countryside landscapes and traditional communities."

In the last district elections in 2019, the Green Party received the largest share of the vote in East Suffolk behind the Conservatives,

Mr Cusack has been endorsed by Adrian Ramsay, national co-leader of the Green Party who said: “Julian brings the experience of a career in business to the Green Party and will make an outstanding candidate in an area where the party is very much on the up”.

Adrian Ramsay is the Green Party candidate for the proposed Waveney Valley Constituency which neighbours Suffolk Coastal.

At the 2019 general election Conservative Dr Therese Coffey won just under 33,000 votes - a majority of 20,000 over Labour - and the Green Party came fourth with 2,700 votes.

But since then the Greens have done very well in the 2021 county council election and in by-elections for district council seats.