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08 November 2019 12:31

Nick Conrad Labour Party Clacton-on-Sea

Video Rival candidates react to Nick Conrad stepping down Prime minister Boris Johnson has called former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad's comments during a rape debate 'unacceptable' Pic: Nick Butcher. Nick Butcher Rival candidates and members of the public have reacted to news that Nick Conrad has stepped down as Conservative election hopeful for Broadland after "ill-judged" comments he made about rape re-emerged. Share Email this article to a friend To send a link to this page you must be logged in. Nick Conrad stepped down following resurfaced comments after just 24 hours. Photo: Steve Adams Nick Conrad stepped down following resurfaced comments after just 24 hours.

Photo: Steve Adams Former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Mr Conrad beat two other contenders on Wednesday night and was chosen by the Broadland Conservative Association to fight the December 12 election. But when comments made on his breakfast show in 2014 about the rape conviction of former Norwich City Football Club loan player Ched Evans resurfaced, Mr Conrad "reluctantly concluded" he had to stand down. Mr Conrad implied that women were "partially responsible" for sexual assault and said they should "keep their knickers on" to stop rape. MORE: Boris Johnson says Nick Conrad comments during rape case debate 'completely unacceptable' Labour parliamentary candidate for Broadland Jessica Barnard tweeted: "News just in that Nick Conrad has withdrawn his candidacy, shamefully though out of concern for the Tory party, rather than concern for the women and rape victims impacted by his dangerous words." She had previously tweeted facing Mr Conrad as an opponent was "unsettling" and added the Tories had "isolated and insulted me and countless other women" following his selection. Green Party parlimenatary candidate for Broadland Andrew Boswell said he was "very relieved" Mr Conrad was not going forward as a candidate on Twitter.

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Mr Boswell later tweeted Mr Conrad's statement and said: "No apology to the many people who have been deeply disturbed by his standing in the last 24 hours. Just sorry it was a bit of bother for the #Tory party." And Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Broadland, Ben Goodwin, said: "This is exactly the kind of chaos we have come to expect from the Conservative Party. The fact that Nick Conrad was overwhelmingly selected shows how thin the party benches must be. "Ultimately any Conservative candidate just represents more of the same for Broadland. I look forward to facing the next one." However, Brexit Party parliamentary candidate Alex Hayes has yet to comment. Public reaction has largely been in support of the decision. On this newspaper's website, Simon said: "I totally agree we can all make mistakes or unwanted comments, it's part of being human beings but I've never understood why a so called intellectual man employed by the local BBC as a local breakfast radio presenter would think his comments from the passed would not be dragged back into the public arena for discussion." On Facebook, Heather Edmondson said: "Good. He should never have gone for it in the first place. Let it be a lesson to all MPs and those in high places." Neil Frederick said: "Good. He should never have been nominated after his comments." However, on Facebook, Bertie Hibberd defended Mr Conrad and said: "Shame for you Nick, unfortunately you were the victim of a witch hunt." Frank Guyton said: "When no means no and heartfelt apologies mean nothing. Not a fan of Conrad but we all say things we later regret and for how many years do we have to be held accountable for them." 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. "However it has become clear to me that the media attention on my previous comments have become a distraction. "I would like to thank Broadland Conservative Association for their support and wish the party every success in the election on December 12." Image caption Nick Conrad resigned from the BBC in the run-up to the selection process in the Broadland constituency Conservative election candidate Nick Conrad has said he is standing down over "ill-judged comments" he made on the radio about a rape case. The former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter, 34, had been chosen as the party's candidate for the Broadland seat. He was criticised for saying in 2014 that women should "keep their knickers on" in an on-air discussion about rape. Labour had said the comments showed he was not fit to be an MP and should be dropped as a candidate. Following the revelations, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Mr Conrad had apologised "long ago" but stressed the comments were "completely unacceptable". 'Affront to women' During an on-air discussion in 2014, Mr Conrad said: "I think women need to be more aware of a man's sexual desire. That when you're in that position that you are about to engage in sexual activity, there's a huge amount of energy in the male body, there's a huge amount of will and intent, and it's very difficult for many men to say no. "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." He apologised for the comments at the time and no further action was taken by the radio industry watchdog. In a statement released by the Conservative Party on Thursday, Mr Conrad said he had made a "genuine and heartfelt apology" for his "ill-judged comments". "However it has become clear to me that the media attention on my previous comments have become a distraction," he said. "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." Angela Rayner, Labour's shadow education secretary, was among those to criticise Mr Conrad's 2014 remarks, describing them as an "affront to women everywhere". The Tories have held the rural Norfolk seat of Broadland since it was created in 2010. Keith Simpson, who has been the constituency's only MP and had a 15,816 majority in 2017, is stepping down. The prospective parliamentary candidates already chosen by their parties include: