Dudley Election Candidate Resigns Over EDL Plot Allegations
23 March 2015, 19:10
Suspended Conservative Afzal Amin has resigned as the party's general election candidate for Dudley North.
It's after he was accused of attempting a plot with the far-right English Defence League, which would see him take the credit if a planned march was scrapped.
Earlier, he denied any wrongdoing.
Afzal Amin, who was filmed in discussions with former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, initially said he would fight the allegations in the hope of staying on as parliamentary candidate in the Tory target seat of Dudley North.
But party sources said he had resigned as candidate `"with immediate effect'', a day ahead of a planned disciplinary hearing.
The Conservatives will now move "swiftly'' to appoint a new candidate, who must be in place by the time nominations close on April 9, a source said.
A Conservative spokesman said: "Afzal Amin is resigning as Conservative candidate for Dudley North with immediate effect.
"Conservative Chairman Grant Shapps has welcomed Mr Amin's decision and thanked him for his work in the past.''
Labour shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Ashworth said: "It's right that Afzal Amin has gone but what on earth took so long? Given the serious allegations involved it was obvious that David Cameron should have expelled him immediately. Instead he dithered until the candidate himself jumped before he was pushed.
"This deeply damaging episode has exposed a Conservative campaign in chaos and a Prime Minister paralysed by indecision.''