AN ex-Coventry prospective MP and candidate for the deputy leadership of the Green Party has withdrawn from the race after her father was jailed for abusing and raping a 10-year-old girl.
Greens equalities spokesperson Aimee Challenor denied having full knowledge of the horrific crimes of her father, David – previously her election agent – which we reported last week.
The 20-year-old is described as a rising star in the party and she was also tipped as a frontrunner for the deputy leader election.
She says her withdrawal was because she did not want her relationship with her father to damage the Green Party.
David Challenor, 50, was jailed for 22 years last week after being found guilty of torturing and raping a young girl in the attic of his Coventry home.
He also downloaded indecent images of children and possessed prohibited pictures.
The court heard how he subjected the girl to horrific sexual abuse which included tying her up, whipping her, and giving her electric shocks.
Ms Challenor’s disgraced father was her election agent during the General Election last year in which she stood to be MP in Coventry South.
He was also her agent during her campaign in the local elections in May this year – a role he took up after his arrest.
Ms Challenor was born in Coventry and grew up in the family home on Charterhouse Road.
She studied photography at Henley College Coventry and was a trustee of Coventry Pride.
Ms Challenor – who still lives at the home – said she was devastated by her father’s crimes.
She said: “In light of the revelations about my father’s despicable behaviour, and because of the impact my role has on my family and the survivors of my father’s criminal behaviour I have decided to step aside in the Green Party deputy leadership race.
“I do not want the deputy leadership election to be dominated by what my father has done.
“I do not want my relationship with him to damage the Green Party, and I want to ensure the focus stays firmly on the good work that the party is doing.
“I did not know about the full details of the crimes my father has been found guilty of until very recently.
“I was taken into care a few years ago and have also lived in independent supported housing.
“There were sustained periods where I did not live in the family home.
“But I cannot be held responsible for the actions of my father. I am not to blame for his behavior.
“Yes, he was my election agent. On reflection, I can understand that it was unacceptable for me to appoint my dad as my election agent when he had been arrested.
“I can now understand the potential risks of that decision. For that I am sorry.”
She has announced a ‘break’ from her party responsibilities to ‘come to terms’ with her father’s actions.
She said her thoughts are with the young women who ‘survived’ her father’s ‘abhorrent behaviour’.
A Green Party statement said: “We apologise unreservedly that Mr Challenor was able to act as an election agent for Aimee Challenor in the 2017 General Election and the local elections in May this year despite the nature of the charges brought against him.
“A full investigation into how this was able to happen is taking place.
“His membership was terminated with immediate effect as soon as the information was brought to the attention of decision makers.
“Aimee will not be undertaking any official Green Party roles while the party urgently looks into the circumstances which allowed this situation to arise.”