Another day, another suspended Conservative election candidate. Matt Lynch was the Conservative candidate for St Helens ward in Hastings – the constituency of ex-home secretary Amber Rudd. The Conservative Party has suspended him just a day before the election over allegations that he made false claims about serving in the army.
“No one knows of him”
Lynch said in a statement on the Hastings and Rye Conservative Association website that he had been in the army for 14 years, including 12 years as a paratrooper. But Steven Flynn from the Hastings branch of the Parachute Regimental Association raised doubts about Lynch’s claims.
Ex-paratrooper Flynn made enquiries with other ex-soldiers. He said:
To this day no one knows of him. It’s an insult to most people and their families. There were men who died on Mount Longdon [during the Falklands War] who never saw their newborn baby. It’s an insult to them.
The Conservative Association removed the claim from Lynch’s profile on its website.
Before and after: Hastings candidate Matt Lynch had claimed to have spent 12 years serving with Paras. But by this morning the local Tories’ page had taken out those references. pic.twitter.com/vV4h9VSJlz
— Ben Weisz (@BenRTWeisz) May 1, 2018
Still on the ballot
As for the election, Lynch is still on the ballot, the cut-off for withdrawals having passed. Many people will already have voted for him by post. St Helens ward currently has one Labour and one Conservative councillor. Hastings Council told The Canary that the election is still valid as it’s an internal matter for the Conservative Party to deal with.
Lynch is the latest in a series of suspended Conservative election candidates. Just this week, the party suspended two for Islamophobic social media posts. And it suspended another after he claimed that Labour had brought hepatitis to the local area.
“I don’t do party politics”
I don’t do party politics really.
Hastings Conservatives may well be wishing that were true.
– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
– Read and support other independent media outlets:
Media Diversified, Novara Media, Corporate Watch, Red Pepper, New Internationalist, Common Space, Media Lens, Bella Caledonia, Vox Political, Evolve Politics, Real Media, Reel News, STRIKE! magazine, The Bristol Cable, The Meteor, The Skwawkbox, Salford Star, The Ferret.
Featured image via Flickr – EU2017EE
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?