Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

UK's Conservative Party literally parachute candidate into election battleground after jibe

Imran Khan skydived into Labour heartland Wakefield to stand as candidate after criticism from opposition politician

Conservative Party election candidate Imran Khan has parachuted into the candidacy in Wakefield following a jibe from an opposition MP.
Conservative Party election candidate Imran Khan has parachuted into the candidacy in Wakefield following a jibe from an opposition MP.

One of the UK's last minute political candidates has jumped from a plane to parachute into the role after a taunt from the opposition MP who holds the seat.

The new Conservative Party candidate for the northern city of Wakefield, Imran Khan, skydived into area to launch his bid to become their MP.

It comes as his predecessor Antony Calvert stepped down from the candidacy after it was discovered he had posted offensive posts online.

Mr Khan took the move after the present opposition Labour MP for the city, Mary Creagh, had commented: “Will the next candidate they parachute in be any better? Don’t hold your breath.”

Prior to his skydive, Mr Khan said: “I'm here because I'm standing for Parliament. I'm going to be the candidate for Wakefield for the Conservatives.

“My opponent has said that I was going to be parachuted in, and if I'll be any better than the last candidate, so I want to prove her wrong.

“I couldn't figuratively parachute in - and I didn't want to disappoint her - so I decided I would literally parachute in.”

His appointment comes as analysis company Impact Social identified Wakefield as the area likely to predict the overall outcome of the election.

It comes as the December 12 election is being fought in traditional Labour heartlands like Wakefield.

The former coal mining areas in the north of the UK have been Labour strongholds for decades.

But due to the impact of Brexit, which the Conservative Party is campaigning to enact as soon as possible, many northern areas, which predominently voted to Leave, are being targeted.

It comes as many Labour MPs voted against Brexit in these areas despite their constituents' wishes.

In launching his campaign, Mr Khan said: "I believe that getting Brexit done is key to securing our future. When it comes to democratic representation, I have a simple and straightforward position – I will serve my constituents.

"Unlike my Labour opponent, I am not one of those fair-weather democrats who believe in democracy only when the majority agree with them and, when they don’t, claim that the people are uneducated, stupid, racist or wrong."

Wakefield voted 63 per cent to leave the EU.

Many of the UK's party's have been forced to replace candidates over inappropriate comments.

The latest was the Liberal Democrat Party who suspended candidate, Waheed Rafiq, this week after he repeatedly made anti-Semitic remarks through social media accounts.

Earlier the Labour Party suspended Matthew Collings as a candidate after it emerged he had dismissed allegations of anti-Semitism in the party as a "witch hunt".

Updated: November 22, 2019 08:03 PM

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