A Conservative election candidate who was suspended after a newspaper accused him plotting with the far-right English Defence League (EDl) is likely to be removed from the party within days, a senior Conservative source has said.
Afzal Amin, the candidate for the key, Labour-held general election marginal seat of Dudley North, schemed with the EDL to manufacture a protest against a “mega mosque”, The Mail on Sunday reported.
Amin, who denies any wrongdoing, faces a party hearing on Tuesday.
“Following an emergency meeting it has been decided to suspend him as a candidate with immediate effect,” a Tory Party spokesman said. “The Conservative Party views this as a matter of extremely serious concern.”
A full disciplinary hearing is expected to be held on Tuesday. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today he would make a “robust defence” of his actions.
But a Conservative source told the BBC Amin is likely to be gone within 48 hours and a replacement could be chosen by the weekend. The marginal seat of Dudley North is currently held by Labour’s Ian Austin with a majority of 649.
Amin, 40, is a former army captain who, it is claimed, was an education officer to Princes William and Harry.
“This is my fantasy,” he is reported as saying in the secretly-recorded footage.
“If I could demonstrate to the people in Dudley that I can be a positive voice for community cohesion, for development, for campaigning against the evils and the terrorism and the child grooming and all the rest of it, then that would help me a lot in the forthcoming election.
“One way of doing that is, if you were to announce a second march… about the mosque… and then we have two meetings with the chief of police, members of the Muslim community, we all play our roles, you say, ‘Yeah, we’re going to do a march’.
“We have a second meeting where things are a bit calmer then at the third one, we have a press conference where you say, ‘We were going to do a march. The chiefs of the police, Afzal Amin, former army officer, members of the Muslim community, we’ve sat together and… we’ve realised that we’ve all got to campaign against these things and we’re going to work closer together in addressing these evils in our society.
“It will bring the EDL out of the shadows into the mainstream political debate. “If I win my election, in parliament, you’ve got a very strong, unshakeable ally.
“Ninety-five percent of what you want to campaign against, we’re with you.”
Labour called for the Conservatives to suspend Amin’s party membership.
“Decent people in politics share the wide consensus that the EDL are quite simply despicable. These allegations regarding such a senior Conservative Party figure in Afzal Amin are quite simply jaw-dropping,” said frontbencher Jonathan Ashworth.