Red-Faced: Kent Tory Candidate Withdraws After Embarrassing Comments About Tunbridge Wells Resurface

Broadcaster Iain Dale withdrew from the Conservative candidacy for Tunbridge Wells only days after announcing he would stand after past controversial comments about the town resurfaced. Here’s the full story.

Conservative Nomination

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Iain Dale, the prominent broadcaster and long-time vocal Conservative supporter, recently announced that he would run for the Conservative nomination for Tunbridge Wells. 

Conservative Party Candidate

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Dale even quit his lucrative job as a radio host for LBC to run for election to the Conservative Party. 

Forced to Withdraw

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However, just days after announcing his run, Dale was forced to withdraw from the race in an embarrassing climb down as controversial remarks he had made about the town of Tunbridge Wells resurfaced and threatened to derail his entire campaign. 

14-Year Tenure

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On Tuesday evening, Dale announced his departure from his 14-year tenure at LBC to pursue a political career. 

“Kick Myself”

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He expressed excitement at the prospect of running for Parliament, telling listeners to his radio show that there were “no guarantees” he would be selected as a candidate, but added, “I know that I would forever kick myself if I didn’t at least have a go.”

For the Many Podcast

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However, just over 48 hours after he announced his run, a clip of Dale speaking on the “For the Many” podcast, recorded two years ago, resurfaced and came back to haunt him.

“Never Liked”

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In the podcast interview, Dale candidly expressed his disdain for Tunbridge Wells, stating that he “never liked” the town and that he “would quite happily live somewhere else.”

Exploiting Comments

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Dale revealed to fellow LBC host Nick Ferrari that the Liberal Democrats had found the clip and were planning to exploit his comments to their full extent in the upcoming election. 

“Quite Happily Live Somewhere Else”

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Dale stated, “I got a text from the local Conservative party saying they’d had a communication from the Lib Dems with this clip from the For the Many podcast two years ago in which I had said – I hadn’t remembered this – I didn’t like living in Tunbridge Wells and would quite happily live somewhere else.”

“Nobody’s Interested in Context”

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He added, “There is a context to it but nobody’s interested in context or nuance in these situations. You just have that little clip and that would be on every single Lib Dem leaflet that was put out in the election campaign.”

“Suffer Death by a Thousand Cuts”

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Following this, Dale explained that he was not “wasn’t willing to suffer death by a thousand cuts,” and that, due to his lengthy career as a presenter, there was a realistic possibility that other controversial clips would resurface, which could further hurt his campaign. 

Prolonged Road Works

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Dale attempted to put the negative remarks in context, stating that they were not about the town itself but were made more out of frustration due to prolonged road works near him, which had been going on for over three months.

“Stayed Living There For 27 Years”

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He stated, “If I hated it that much, would I have stayed living there for 27 years? I don’t think I would.” 

Avoid Harming The Conservatives

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However, the damage was done, and in the wake of the controversy, Dale emphasised his desire to avoid harming the Conservative Party, leaving him no option but to step down. 

Careful Consideration

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As Dale stepped back from what might be the shortest political career in British history, he acknowledged the need for careful consideration of his future career prospects. 

“Bit Silly”

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He stated, “I’ve made the mistake of making a decision without probably thinking of every possible consequence, so it would be a bit silly to do the same again.”

Many Challenges

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Dale’s unfortunate but undeniably funny experience underscores the many challenges faced by public figures running for office in the modern digital age, where comments or jokes made years ago can haunt whoever says them well into the future. 

Bowing Out Early

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Though Dale may be embarrassed by the whole debacle, at least he had the political wherewithal to bow out early without dragging out the entire episode in a way that could hurt his future political aspirations. 

Poignant Reminder

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Iain Dale’s short-lived bid to be the Conservative candidate in Tunbridge Wells serves as a poignant reminder of the complexities and pitfalls of modern politics. 

Not The Last

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As the general election draws closer, Dale will likely not be the last candidate to be forced to withdraw after past comments resurface.

Next to Fall

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However, who will be the next to fall due to past jokes or comments remains to be seen.

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The post Red-Faced: Kent Tory Candidate Withdraws After Embarrassing Comments About Tunbridge Wells Resurface first appeared on Edge Media.

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Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.

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