The Conservative candidate to replace the disgraced former Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan has said his party can still be trusted – like GPs are still trusted despite the crimes of serial killer Harold Shipman.
Voters in the city go to the polls next Thursday, 23 June, after Khan resigned having been convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage boy.
He was the first Conservative to win the Wakefield seat in more than 87 years when he was elected in 2019.
But Tory Nadeem Ahmed is hoping to keep the city in Conservative control in what is likely to be a fiercely contested vote.
And, in an interview with ITV Calendar, he said his party should not be tarnished by the actions of one man.
'There are bad apples'
He said: "The Conservative Party is bigger than one individual. What [Khan] did was wrong and I'm saying that as a parent, as a teacher.
"Safeguarding is one of the biggest concerns for any teacher in the classroom.
"He's in the right place, he has had the right punishment.
"The people of Wakefield understand that there are bad apples – look at Harold Shipman. He committed suicide in Wakefield Prison. But do we trust our doctors? You go to your GP, I go to my GP. We Still trust our GPs."
Shipman, a GP from Hyde, Greater Manchester, died in 2000 after being jailed for killing 15 patients. He is thought to have murdered over 200.
Fifteen candidates will stand for election in Wakefield, in a vote that is being seen as a key test of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's leadership.
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...