Tory Afzal Amin denies colluding with EDL to help win a key seat
A Tory candidate in a key marginal seat has been told to "fess up" after being secretly recorded hatching a plan with far-Right extremists to help him win the election.
Afzal Amin was videoed negotiating with Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League (EDL), to get him to announce an inflammatory march against a new 'mega-mosque' in Dudley North, to be held just before polling day. The plan was for the protest to be scrapped, with Mr Amin taking the credit for defusing the situation - and helping him to win the seat.
In return Mr Amin allegedly promised that he would be an "unshakeable ally" for the EDL in Parliament and help bring their views into the mainstream.
Anna Soubry, the Defence Minister, said Mr Amin should "go now" if "there's any truth in this".
A Tory spokesman confirmed Mr Amin had been suspended: "The Conservative Party views this as a matter of extremely serious concern."
A full disciplinary hearing is expected to be held tomorrow, when he will be able to explain his actions.
Yesterday his website said the footage had been "grossly misrepresented and present[ed] an inaccurate picture of the reality".
Mr Amin was reportedly filmed outlining his plan to Mr Robinson at an Indian restaurant in Birmingham. The 40-year-old former Army officer allegedly suggested EDL members could be paid to canvass on his behalf, and floated the idea of a phoney protest - just weeks after a real demonstration by 600 EDL supporters led to 30 arrests.
In the footage, he says: "If you were to announce a second march about the mosque... and then we have two meetings with the chief of police, members of the Muslim community, we all play our roles… We have a second meeting where things are a bit calmer then the third one, we have a press conference where we say 'We were going to do a march. The police asked Afzal Amin, members of the Muslim community, we've sat together and... we're going to work closely together'."