Iain Dale quits bid to be Tory candidate for after old remark resurfaces

Iain Dale

Iain Dale has withdrawn from the race to become a Tory candidate for Tunbridge Wells after old comments resurfaced in which he stated that he “never liked” the town and would “quite happily live somewhere else”.

Dale quit his presenting role at radio station LBC on Tuesday evening (28 May) but returned to a studio just three days later to announce that he would no longer be putting himself forward as the Tory candidate for Tunbridge Wells, in Kent. 

He told former colleague Nick Ferrari it wasn’t a moment he saw coming. 

“I got a text from the local Conservative Party saying they’d had a communication from the Lib Dems with this clip from the For the Many podcast two years ago in which I said – I hadn’t remembered this – I didn’t like living in Tunbridge Wells and would quite happily live somewhere else,” Dale said.

“There is a context to it but nobody’s interested in context or nuance in these situations.”

He “instantly recognised the problems with that,” and “wasn’t willing to suffer death by a thousand cuts” or risk any other comment resurfacing. 

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The gay broadcaster went on to say: “I’ve learnt I should take longer to make an important decision. I think I’ve got to take a little bit of time now… to reflect on that. I’ve made the mistake of making a decision without properly thinking about every possible consequence. It would be a bit silly to do the same again.” 

Stepping away from his radio job earlier in the week he told LBC listeners: “You know how much politics means to me. And if you’ve listened for any length of time, you know I’ve always had two ambitions in life. One was to be a radio presenter and the other was to be an MP.” 

Mere hours later, one of those dreams was in tatters.

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