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Les Jones replaces Afzal Amin in race for Dudley North

Cllr Les Jones was former leader of Dudley Council Credit: Dudley Council website

Councillor Les Jones has been chosen as the new prospective parliamentary candidate for Dudley North after the resignation of Afzal Amin amid allegations he met with the EDL to stage a protest against a mosque in an attempt to win votes.

Dudley North is a key marginal seat and target for the Conservatives, which is currently held by Labour's Ian Austin, who has been the incumbent MP for ten years.

Les Jones has previously been the leader of Dudley Council, and also stood as a candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Former council leader to be Tory Dudley North PPC

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Labour: Why did Amin's resignation take so long?

The Labour shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Ashworth has questioned why Afzal Amin's resignation took so long, after it emerged he allegedly 'schemed' with the EDL to try to win votes.

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.

– Jon Ashworth MP, Labour

Dudley North UKIP candidate reacts to Amin resignation

The UKIP candidate for the Dudley North seat in the General Election has reacted to the news that Conservative candidate Afzal Amin has resigned from the party after alleged 'scheming' with the EDL.

Obviously, I welcome the decision by Mr Amin to finally resign and draw the whole sorry saga for the Tories to an end.

He has let himself, his party and the people of Dudley North down.

The Tories are finished in Dudley. UKIP will continue to put the people of Dudley first.

– Bill Etheridge MEP, UKIP candidate for Dudley North

Party chairman welcomes Amin's decision to resign

In a statement issued by the Conservatives, the Party chairman 'welcomed' Afzal Amin's decision to resign as a candidate for the Dudley North seat in the General Election.

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.

– Conservative Party spokesman

The party says it will now select a new candidate to stand in the seat at the election.

  1. National

Tory candidate Afzal Amin resigns after EDL claims

Afzal Amin

Suspended Conservative candidate Afzal Amin has resigned as prospective parliamentary candidate for Dudley North with immediate effect, a party source said.

Amin, who was filmed in discussions with former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, initially said he would fight allegations that he attempted to stage-manage a far-right rally in order to boost his electoral chances.

But party sources said he had now resigned as candidate in the Tory target seat of Dudley North "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."

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George Osborne responds to Afzal Amin questions

George Osborne is visiting the Science Museum today Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Chancellor has been asked whether Mr Amin should stand down during a visit to the Science Museum in London.

"He has been suspended pending the investigation from the Conservative Party, so that investigation is now taking place very quickly and of course we await the results."

– George Osborne MP

Miliband: Cameron should kick Mr Amin out of party

Ed Miliband Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Labour leader Ed Miliband said David Cameron should throw Mr Amin out of the Tory Party.

"These are shocking allegations when you have a Conservative candidate saying that he is going to be an 'unshakeable ally' of the English Defence League.

"There is only one course of action for David Cameron: he should end the dither, end the delay and kick this man out of his party.

"We cannot have these sort of people standing for mainstream parties in British politics."

– Ed Miliband
  1. Alison Mackenzie

Video report: Dudley North Tory Candidate suspended

Our political reporter Alison Mackenzie investigates allegations that Conservative Party Candidate for Dudley North, Afzal Amin, planned to use an inflammatory march against a new 'mega-mosque' to help his election campaign.

Alison also joined us on our Sunday programme to discuss Mr Afzal's alleged deal with the English Defence League (EDL).

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