Tory candidate is literally parachuted in to Wakefield to counter opponents' claims

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The Conservative candidate for Wakefield has literally been parachuted in to the constituency as he hit back at claims he would be the same as the previous Tory hopeful who was ousted from the seat.

Antony Calvert stepped down at Tory candidate earlier this month after offensive social media posts were uncovered.

He was replaced by Imran Khan, but at the time Labour hopeful Mary Creagh said: “Will the next candidate they parachute in be any better? Don’t hold your breath.”

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Mr Khan has now responded by taking part in a skydive over the town, literally parachuting in to the seat.

Imran Khan, the Tory candidate for Wakefield. Photo: Imran KhanImran Khan, the Tory candidate for Wakefield. Photo: Imran Khan
Imran Khan, the Tory candidate for Wakefield. Photo: Imran Khan

Speaking before the jump, Mr Khan said: “I'm here because I'm standing for Parliament. I'm going to be the candidate for Wakefield for the Conservatives.

“My opponent has said that I was going to be parachuted in, and [asked] if I'll be any better than the last candidate, so I want to prove her wrong.”

Mr Khan said Ms Creagh had been “parachuted in, from Islington figuratively” but said he was “a local lad born and bred in Wakefield, of Wakefield stock”.

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He said: “I couldn't figuratively to parachute in - and I didn't want to disappoint her - so I decided I would literally parachute in.”

It comes as research for the Huffington Post by social media analysis company Impact Social found Wakefield was likely to predict the overall outcome of the election.

After analysing social media posts in the town, Huffington Post UK Editor-in-Chief Jimmy Leach said, in an opinion piece, that Impact Social found “an electorate out of love with their political parties, where tribal loyalty holds some sway, but these are voters yet to be convinced by anyone”.

In 2017 the Tories lost out on Wakefield to Ms Creagh by just over 2,000 votes and it looks likely to be a key battleground as Boris Johnson’s party attempts to nab seats on Labour next month.

Other candidates standing in Wakefield are Ryan Kett, of the Yorkshire Party, and Jamie Needle, for the Liberal Democrats.