The British National Party (BNP) candidate for the forthcoming Tudor Ward by-election, Guy Dickens, has withdrawn from the contest.

Although the final date to withdraw, September 24, has passed, he has decided he does not wish to continue the fight to replace Hugh O'Hanlon at Watford Borough Council.

Mr Dickens' agent, Deidre Gates, told the Watford Observer today: "I confirm that Guy Dickens, the British National Party candidate in the Tudor Ward election, does not wish to continue his campaign.

"Guy's wife, Esther, died suddenly and unexpectedly, shortly after the election was called.

"Guy, a courageous man, said he wished to continue nonetheless. However, as the few weeks since then have passed, he finds he cannot contest the election, as he needs private time to grieve."

As a result, all BNP campaigning in Tudor Ward has stopped at Mr Dickens' request, though his name will still appear on the ballot paper.

Voters on October 16 can also choose between Richard Southern (Conservative), Darren Walford (Liberal Democrat), Helen Wynne (Green Party), and Mark Xerri (Labour).