UK

Tory candidate suspended over vote-winning allegations

Afzal Amin
Image caption Afzal Amin has been suspended as a candidate "with immediate effect"

A Conservative candidate at the general election has been suspended over allegations he schemed with the English Defence League (EDL) to win votes.

The Mail on Sunday reported Afzal Amin plotted to persuade the EDL to announce a march against a new "mega-mosque" in Dudley North and then to scrap it and take credit for defusing the situation.

The EDL told the BBC Mr Amin wanted them "to set up a fake demonstration".

Mr Amin said the allegations were an "inaccurate picture of the reality."

Mr Amin, who is in Dubai, has issued a statement saying: "Today's allegations are part of a much wider story which has been grossly misrepresented."

But former EDL leader Tommy Robinson told the BBC's Sunday Politics that Mr Amin had sought to "use" the organisation.

The EDL went along with the idea to "expose" Mr Amin, he suggested.

'Utter rubbish'

The MoS claims secretly filmed footage, obtained by Mr Robinson, shows former Army captain Mr Amin allegedly promising that he would be an "unshakeable ally" for the EDL in parliament and help bring their views to the mainstream.

The paper said when it put it to him he was trying to stir up racial hatred to win the seat, he said: "That's absolutely untrue, it's utter rubbish."

The BBC understands a full disciplinary hearing is expected to be held on Tuesday.

Tory Defence Minister Anna Soubry told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "I would appeal, if there is any truth in this, to him then go now, hold your head up. Because obviously if this is right this is dreadful."

And Dudley Conservative councillor Les Jones said it would be the "honourable thing" for Mr Amin to stand down.

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said that winning places like Dudley North was crucial to the Conservatives: "It is a seat held by Labour's Ian Austin with a tiny majority - just 649."

According to Mr Amin's website, he grew up in the Black Country and was a mature student before spending 11 years in the Army, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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