DARTFORD Labour Party's new parliamentary candidate has branded the town's current MP "invisible".

Former BBC news journalist Simon Thomson will take on Conservative incumbent Gareth Johnson in 2015 after a meeting of local party members on October 5.

The father-of-one has worked as a reporter for Radio Kent and pledged to support young entrepreneurs, designers and start-ups to open businesses and stores in Dartford.

He said: "During the selection process I’ve had the privilege of meeting many local residents and party activists and one thing is clear: Dartford is a fantastic town with a great community spirit but it’s been badly let down by those who are supposed to be fighting its corner.

"For too long Dartford has suffered at the hands of a complacent Tory council and a virtually invisible Tory MP.

"Dartford has so much potential but what our town needs above anything is investment. I will work tirelessly to encourage businesses to relocate here."

Dartford Labour’s chair, Councillor Jonathon Hawkes, oversaw the selection process and said: "Simon is an incredibly strong candidate and exactly the right person to represent Dartford in Parliament.

"His vision for the constituency, combined with his campaigning experience and passion for helping others means he will make an outstanding Member of Parliament."

Mr Johnson hit back at his opponent in the general election scheduled for 2015.

He said: “I congratulate Mr Thomson on his appointment.

“The question has to be asked though how someone who is standing for council in Greenwich next year can be committed long term to Dartford.

“Nevertheless I look forward to meeting him in due course.”