Labour has selected a candidate to take on Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion – and an independent candidate in Kemptown has stood down.
Adam Imanpour, who grew up in Brighton and runs a small family business, was officially announced as Labour’s candidate on Saturday.
Over in Kemptown, Bridget Fishleigh, who became the city’s only independent councillor for Rottingdean in May, said today she had decided to save her “time, energy and dosh” for an election not dominated by Brexit.
Meanwhile, the Brexit Party’s Kemptown candidate, Graham Cushway, has been defending the Nazi imagery used by his band Stuke Squadron, which has been condemned by anti-racism campaigners Hope Not Hate.
Mr Imanpour previously stood in the May council elections in the two-seat Wish ward in Hove, where he received 1,107 votes – behind the two elected Conservative candidates, Robert Nemeth and Garry Peltzer-Dunn, and Alex Braithwaite, who was selected for Labour but ran as an independent after being suspended over claims of anti-Semitism.
He was asked to comment on why he is running in Pavilion and why people should vote for him, but had not done so at the time of publication.
Not all Labour members are happy at his selection. Controversial former editor Greg Hadfield, who has twice been suspended from the party and who himself applied for the candidacy, slammed the “imposition” of a candidate on Twitter, saying: “Why has a Pavilion Labour general election candidate been imposed yet again? Because it is a ‘snap’ election that nobody could have foreseen? Really?”
Last week, Lib Dem candidate Paul Chandler stepped down as part of the Remain Alliance. A Conservative candidate for the constituency has yet to be revealed.
This afternoon, Bridget Fishleigh posted on Facebook: “Thanks to everyone who offered encouragement and help when I wrote that I was going to run as an independent in the election.
“I did a bit of canvassing and my messages about having a different kind of MP – who represents residents rather than a political party – were well-received.
“But I’ve decided to save my time, energy and dosh as this election is clearly all about the B word and we will have a choice of remain or leave candidates from the main political parties.
“Now, about those buses…”
In response to the Hope Not Hate comments, Graham Cushman directed Brighton and Hove News to the band’s Facebook page, where he said there was a full rebuttal plus some “amusing trolling of [Labour candidate] Lloyd Russell-Moule.
He said: “The act Stuka Squadron is an Art-house Heavy Metal vampire and horror show which purveys escapist fantasy and adventure stories. The shows are designed for a Heavy Metal audience who are entirely cognisant of the fact that they are watching entertainment, and were not designed to be shown in The Daily Mail.
“There is a long tradition in Heavy Metal of portraying anti-heroes, which is what the characters portrayed are designed to be and it is the job of Heavy Metal to confront dark themes and content.
“It has always been fully understood that this is art, and that the band has no links to or sympathies with extreme politics of any kind.”