Only a day to local elections, and yet another Conservative candidate has been suspended

Theresa May
Andrea Needham

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.

Claim removed

The Conservative Association removed the claim from Lynch’s profile on its website.

Later, the association removed his profile completely, although a cached version remains. The Conservative Association didn’t respond to The Canary‘s request for a statement.

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”

Before moving to Hastings, Lynch was a Conservative councillor in Northampton. On stepping down in 2016, he said that he didn’t mind whether or not a Tory replaced him:

I don’t do party politics really.

Hastings Conservatives may well be wishing that were true.

Get Involved!

– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

– Read and support other independent media outlets:

Media DiversifiedNovara MediaCorporate WatchRed PepperNew InternationalistCommon SpaceMedia LensBella CaledoniaVox PoliticalEvolve PoliticsReal MediaReel NewsSTRIKE! magazineThe Bristol CableThe Meteor, The SkwawkboxSalford StarThe Ferret.

Featured image via Flickr – EU2017EE

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed