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LBC host Iain Dale drops Conservative election bid over Tunbridge Wells comments

:Headline: LBC host Iain Dale drops Conservative election bid over Tunbridge Wells comments:
LBC presenter Iain Dale withdraws his application to become a Conservative MP for Tunbridge Wells.
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LBC presenter Iain Dale has withdrawn his application to stand as the Conservative candidate for Tunbridge Wells at the upcoming general election.

Earlier this week Dale announced his intent to compete for the Kent seat after Tory incumbent Greg Clark decided to step down after 19 years.

However, soon afterwards a clip from his For The Many podcast - recorded in 2022 - resurfaced in which he said: "I have lived in Tunbridge Wells since 1997, slightly against my will. I've never liked the place. Still don't, and would happily live somewhere else."

Dale subsequently appeared on LBC to explain that his comments were in the context of local roadworks, but nevertheless he had decided not to stand as the remarks would taint his campaign.

"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 had said – I hadn't remembered this – I didn't like living in Tunbridge Wells and would quite happily live somewhere else," he told colleague Nick Ferrari.

"There is a context to it but nobody's interested in context or nuance in these situations.

"I thought to myself, well, if they've got this on day one, I mean, I've done thousands of hours on LBC over the last 15 years, I've done hundreds of hours in podcasts... what if they had got something else that I have said?"

He continued: "I wasn't willing to suffer death by a thousand cuts. I mean, imagine if the day before nominations close next week, they had found something else that was even worse than this. And I don't know what that would be, but they could have done...

"If I hated it that much, would I have stayed living there for 27 years? I don't think I would. Everybody listening to this now will have some complaint about where they live. I just put it in far too graphic terms."

Currently-announced candidates for the seat include Mike Martin (Liberal Democrats), Hugo Pound (Labour), John Hurst (Green Party) and Hassan Kassem (independent).

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