Black Tory says racism behind deselection vote

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The Independent Online
The Tory party is facing an embarrassing row over plans by a Lancashire local association to deselect one of its few black parliamentary candidates, writes Patricia Wynn Davies.

Hugh Neil faces deselection as the candidate for the marginal Hyndburn seat next Tuesday amid allegations of racism by a minority of party members, and after claims of links with the girlfriend of a leading activist.

The management consultant has launched a scathing attack on the association in a bid to save his political career. The deselection move was triggered when he lost a vote of no confidence last month. He says the vote was "rigged".

Mr Neil, 32, told The Voice, the black newspaper: "Some of the people in the Conservative Party at Hyndburn make the Ku Klux Klan look liberal."

The association insists the reason for dropping him is discrepancies on his CV, including describing himself as a doctor of business administration when he had not taken his doctorate.