'Goon' stunt makes Tory candidate quit

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The Independent Online
A Tory parliamentary candidate has stepped down because he is appalled by his party's "Goon Show" campaigning strategy.

Jonathan Fine, a 40-year-old advertising executive, has resigned as prospective candidate for the safe Labour seat of Morley and Rothwell in West Yorkshire. He is the third Conservative candidate in Yorkshire to step down this year.

Mr Fine could not be contacted yesterday evening, but in an interview with the Press Association he highlighted the recent news conference where the party chairman Dr Brian Mawhinney and Michael Heseltine, Deputy Prime Minister, launched their "New Labour, New Danger" slogan.

"This stunt was like the Goon Show," Mr Fine said.

The original reason he gave for his decision was pressure of work. But he said yesterday: "Concern about the way the party is presenting its policies and lack of leadership from the top are key factors. I found myself disagreeing more often than not with the approach of senior Tories, some of which was arrogant."

George Lee, chairman of the constituency association, said: "I'm doubly disappointed that he has chosen to do this by talking to the press without having first spoken to ourselves."

Earlier this year Paul Sykes resigned as prospective candidate for Barnsley Central and Richard Wrigley stepped down in Dewsbury.