Police have confirmed that a prominent Conservative MP “is not a police officer” after he was spotted wearing what looked like a uniform.

Rayleigh and Wickford MP Mark Francois – deputy chairman of the pro-Brexit European Research Group – was seen on patrol with police officers in his Essex constituency on Friday night.

A photo posted on Twitter by a pub-goer shows Mr Francois wearing what appears to be a black stab-proof vest with “Police” written on it.

He is also wearing a white shirt with a black tie and black trousers, similar to the police staff in the photograph.

Essex Police posted on Twitter to confirm he is not employed by the force and it was a mix-up on their part which led to him wearing the police vest.

The tweet reads: “We can confirm Mark Francois, MP for #Rayleigh and #Wickford, is not a police officer.

“He joined our officers in Rayleigh to see the work they are doing in #Essex and we gave him the wrong jacket.

“We are recruiting though.”

Mr Francois’ office has been contacted for comment.