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General election: Tory candidate Nick Conrad stands down over rape comments | Politics News

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A Conservative candidate who said women should “keep their knickers on” to avoid rape has stood down.

Nick Conrad, who had been selected by the party for the Norfolk seat of Broadland, made the comments during a radio phone-in in 2014.

“Five years ago I made ill-judged comments during an on-air radio discussion for which I made a genuine and heartfelt apology,” he said in a statement.

“Last night I was honoured to be made the Conservative candidate for Broadland and had hoped to become the MP for a constituency which is close to my heart.

“However it has become clear to me that the media attention on my previous comments have become a distraction.

“For me, the most important thing is for the Conservative Party to be successful in the forthcoming election – getting Brexit done and delivering on the people’s priorities.

“This is why I have reluctantly concluded I must stand down to allow one of the other excellent candidates the opportunity to win this fantastic seat.”

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Mr Conrad, a former radio host, made the comments during a debate about footballer Ched Evans.

It followed the ex-Sheffield United striker’s release from prison after his rape conviction, which was subsequently overturned on appeal.

In on-air comments that were condemned by campaigners, Mr Conrad said on BBC Radio Norfolk: “I think women need to be more aware of a man’s sexual desire… and it’s very difficult for many men to say no when they are whipped up into a bit of a storm.”

He added: “If you jump into bed naked with a man, if you give him all the signals and then he acts upon them, then you are partially responsible.

“If you don’t wish to give out the wrong signals it’s best probably to keep your knickers on and not get into bed with him.”

Mr Conrad later made an on-air apology for his “ill-judged” remarks, which attracted complaints to watchdog Ofcom.

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