Green Party member ends deputy leader bid after father's abuse conviction

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Aimee Challenor
Image caption,
Aimee Challenor was running to become the deputy leader of the Green Party

A Green Party member has pulled out of the race to be its deputy leader after her father was jailed for child sex offences including the rape of a girl.

David Challenor, 50, who has been sentenced to 22 years in jail, had been an election agent for Aimee Challenor at the 2017 general election.

In a statement Ms Challenor, a transgender activist, apologised and said she did not know about his crimes.

The Green Party said it has launched a full investigation.

Ms Challenor, 20, who is a member of the Green Party in Coventry, said she was disgusted with her father's behaviour, and did not know the full details of his crimes until recently.

Her father was charged in November 2016, West Midlands Police said.

Challenor, of Charterhouse Road, Coventry, was convicted by a jury of more than 20 counts of child sex offences at Warwick Crown Court and sentenced last week.

The charges included sexual assault, taking indecent photographs of a child, and rape of a girl aged 10. There was also a charge of false imprisonment.

The Green Party said it had not been aware of Challenor's arrest, and "apologised unreservedly" for the fact he was as an election agent for his daughter in the general election and local elections in May.

Ms Challenor, the Greens' equalities spokeswoman, said "there were sustained periods" where she did not live in the family home.

She added: "On reflection, I can understand that it was unacceptable for me to appoint my dad as my election agent when he had been arrested.

"I can now understand the potential risks of that decision. For that I am sorry."

In a statement the Green Party said: "A full investigation into how this was able to happen is taking place.

"His membership was terminated with immediate effect as soon as the information was brought to the attention of decision makers."

Update August 30: This story has been updated to reflect David Challenor's convictions in more detail.

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