08 November 2019 00:31
Nick Conrad stands down as Conservative candidate after rape case comments row Nick Conrad quit BBC Radio Norfolk in the hope of becoming a Conservative MP - but has resigned his candidacy after just 24 hours. Nick Conrad has stepped down as the Conservative Party's candidate for a Norfolk seat in the general election just 24 hours after being selected. Former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad has stepped down as the Conservative candidate for Broadland in the general election. Former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Mr Conrad was chosen by the Broadland Conservative Association as the constituency's Tory parliamentary candidate on Wednesday night, pipping two others to the post. But he has been haunted by "ill-judged" comments he made during a 2014 radio conversation about the rape conviction of former Norwich City Football Club loan player Ched Evans, who was later cleared a retrial.
Following an intense backlash over the comments - including a remark that women should "keep their knickers on" - Mr Conrad said he would "reluctantly" stand down from the parliamentary race. In a statement issued on Thursday night he 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. "I would like to thank Broadland Conservative Association for their support and wish the party every success in the election on December 12." Mr Johnson said Mr Conrad had "apologised long ago" but that his comments were "completely unacceptable". Angela Rayner, Labour's shadow education secretary, called Mr Conrad's comments "despicable".
"Women also have to understand that when a man's given certain signals he'll wish to act upon them and 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 party's candidate for Broadland, Jessica Barnard, said on Twitter: "I will do all I can in this election to ensure you have an MP that will stand with you and support you should you be a victim of rape or sexual assault. Speaking during a campaign visit to Scotland, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Mr Conrad had apologised "long ago" but stressed the comments were "completely unacceptable". Image caption Nick Conrad presented the BBC Radio Norfolk breakfast programme for the past four years Speaking to the Eastern Daily Press after his selection, Mr Conrad said: "I completely messed up. Nick Conrad: Boris Johnson condemns 'unacceptable' rape comments made by Conservative candidate for Broadland Labour's Angela Rayner said: 'He is not fit to be an MP and it would be an affront to women everywhere if he were to become one' Nick Conrad used to present BBC Radio Norfolk (Photo: BBC) Senior Conservatives including the Prime Minister have condemned the "reprehensible" rape comments made by former BBC presenter Nick Conrad, who has been newly selected as the party's election candidate in Norfolk. The former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter came under fire earlier this week when he was revealed to have been shortlisted for the seat, after comments he made about a high profile rape case from 2014 resurfaced.
"What I'm trying to say is that women also have to understand that when a man's given certain signals he'll wish to act upon them and 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. Speaking to the Eastern Daily Press, Mr Conrad said he was "thrilled" and "honoured" to have been selected for Broadland. But Labour candidate Jess Phillips said: "It's best to keep your knickers on to avoid rape according to this dude. Ms Rayner said: "Nick Conrad's despicable comments blaming the victims of rape, saying they should have kept their 'knickers on', sound like they were lifted out of a Handmaid's Tale script. Kwasi Kwarteng called Nick Conrad's comments 'reprehensible' (Photo: Sky News) Meanwhile the Women's Equality Party said the prospect of Mr Conrad becoming an MP was "disgusting". Of Mr Conrad's selection, Mr Simpson said he was "delighted". Nick Conrad said in 2014 radio exchange that women should keep 'knickers on' to avoid rape A Conservative candidate has stood down after Boris Johnson criticised his remarks from 2014 saying women should keep their "knickers on" to avoid rape. Nick Conrad, a 34-year-old former radio presenter, was chosen on Wednesday evening to stand in the Broadland constituency in Norfolk. In a 2014 radio exchange about rape allegations, Conrad suggested women were "partially responsible" for sexual assault. "I think women need to be more aware of a man's sexual desire," he said on BBC Radio Norfolk. Johnson, when asked on Thursday about the selection of Conrad, said: "Those comments are completely unacceptable, he has apologised long ago but I can't stress [enough] that those comments are completely unacceptable." "What I'm trying to say is that women also have to understand that when a man's given certain signals, he'll wish to act upon them and 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." Reacting to Conrad's selection as Tory candidate for Broadland, Labour's Jess Phillips said: "It's best to keep your knickers on to avoid rape according to this dude. How Verizon Media and our partners bring you better ad experiences To give you a better overall experience, we want to provide relevant ads that are more useful to you. Like Verizon Media, our partners may also show you ads that they think match your interests. Verizon Media and our partners need your consent to access your device and use your data (including location) to understand your interests, and provide and measure personalised ads.