The Speaker
Monday, 20 May 2024 – 22:08

Conservative candidate steps down over rape comments

The Conservative Party candidate for Broadland in the upcoming election has stepped down due to a row over rape comments.

Former BBC Radio Norfolk Breakfast Show presenter Nick Conrad said during a phone-in back in 2014 that women should “keep their knickers on” to avoid rape.

On Wednesday, he was selected as the candidate for the Broadland constituency, just days after quitting his job at the BBC. However, he immediately faced calls to step aside from the role after his comments from 2014 were brought back to the surface.

In a statement, Mr Conrad said;

“Five years ago I made ill-judged comments during an on-air radio discussion for which I made a genuine and heartfelt apology.

“Last night I was honoured to be made the Conservative candidate for Broadland and had hoped to become the MP for a constituency which is close to my heart.

“However it has become clear to me that the media attention on my previous comments have become a distraction.

“For me, the most important thing is for the Conservative Party to be successful in the forthcoming election – getting Brexit done and delivering on the people’s priorities.

“This is why I have reluctantly concluded I must stand down to allow one of the other excellent candidates the opportunity to win this fantastic seat.”

The on-air comments in 2014 came during a debate about footballer Ched Evans, who had been released from prison after his rape conviction, which was overturned on appeal. Mr Conrad said: “If you don’t wish to give out the wrong signals it’s best probably to keep your knickers on and not get into bed with him.”

The comments were recently described as “completely unacceptable” by Boris Johnson.

The seat in Broadland has been in the hands of the Conservatives since 2010, and was held by Keith Simpson until he stood down this week.


Photo: Nick Conrad in 2013 | Credit: Mjcreative11 [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons 


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