A former anti-terrorism officer and charity founder has launched a campaign to become MP of Battersea.

Chris Coghlan, 36, who quit his job at the Foreign Office last week, takes inspiration from French President Emmanuelle Macron and is calling for a new centrist party.

After working in finance as a hedge fund manager for eight years, he left London in 2009 to found a charity in Africa that helps entrepreneurs by matching them up with volunteer consultants from all over the world.

He said: “It’s our responsibility to help people, whoever they are, wherever they are.”

The MP hopeful is a firm critic of a hard Brexit and intends to “fight it with everything” he has.

Although he recognises the majority of UK residents voted to leave the EU, he said he has “every right” to fight it democratically.

Mr Coghlan said: “There’s no mandate to leave the single market and wreck our economy.

“Enough of the 52 per cent who voted to leave want to stay in the single market and have a deal like Norway.

“For me it’s a question of values. Nationalism is very dangerous and every lesson from history tells us that.

“If Britain were the only country to leave it might be okay but if every county does- that’s very dangerous.”

A former Labour Party member, Mr Coghlan resigned after Jeremy Corbyn said he would stay on as leader no matter what the result of the election.

He went on to criticise moderate politicians, of which he said there are many, for refusing to work together.

Mr Coghlan said: “Then you just have a hard left and a hard right.

“The Conservatives will take us out of the single market. Labour are pledging left fantasy policies, which would be fine in normal times but not during a national crisis.”

He added the Liberal democrats were “no longer credible” after University fees tripled under their watch.

On what he can do for Battersea residents he said: “Give them someone who represents their views.

“We have an MP who voted for Article 50.

“Jane Ellison is a Government minister so she will tow the party line, which means a hard Brexit.”

A first time politician himself, the parliamentary candidate said he finds Macron “inspiring” and in relation to the UK he has high hopes for change.

He said: “It’s possible to break the three party system.”

In the general election on June 8, Mr Coghlan is up against Conservative Jane Ellison, Labour’s Marsha De Cordova, Liberal Democrat Richard Davis, Lois Davis for the Green Party, Eugene Power for Ukip and The Socialist Party’s Daniel Lambert.