It’s only been a few weeks since the election kicked off but a number of candidates have already disgraced themselves – and their parties.
In a snap election it is always a struggle for the political parties to adequately vet their would-be MPs.
This election is certainly no different – in fact some of these cases almost defy belief as a simple internet search would have revealed the problems associated with many of these men and women.
But while some have decided it was better for their respective parties for them to bow out ungracefully or been forced to go others have been determined to battle on.
The deadline to pull out of standing has passed so parties will just have to stick with the candidates they have picked – despite their record.
1) Nick Conrad – Quit
A Tory candidate said who women should “keep their knickers on” to avoid getting raped resigned saying the comments had become a “distraction”.
Nick Conrad, a former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter made the comments in 2014 while discussing the high-profile Ched Evans rape case.
In a statement Mr Conrad confirmed he was abandoning his candidacy after being disavowed by the PM and called “unfit for office” by Labour.
The Tory party initially resisted growing calls to sack Mr Conrad.
But on the 7th November he quit claiming “the media attention on my previous comments have become a distraction”.
2) Lee Anderson – still standing
Lee Anderson has said he wants “nuisance” council house tenants to live in tents and pick food for 12 hours a day.
The candidate for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, posted a video on Facebook claiming “nuisance tenants” make peoples lives a “misery” in the area.
He then went on to explain how he thinks they should be made to live in a field in tents – working from 6am-6pm every day.
In the bizarre clip, Anderson, says: “I stood on this spot a few months ago banging on about nuisance tenants throughout this lovely estate and the fact they were making peoples lives a complete misery.
“People say, ‘they have got to live somewhere’ – that’s right, so my plan would be, and again this is just my own personal opinion, is that these people who have to live somewhere, let’s have them in a tent, in the middle of a field.
“Six o’clock every morning, let’s have them up, let’s have them in the field, picking potatoes or any other seasonal vegetables, back in the tent, cold shower, lights out, six o’clock, same again the next day. That would be my solution.”
Anderson was previously a Labour supporter, but said he was driven out of the party by Momentum activists.
3) Anthony Browne – Still standing
The former adviser to Boris Johnson is facing calls to be removed as an election candidate after Labour accused him of displaying “disgusting racism” in an article written almost 17 years ago.
Anthony Browne, a Conservative candidate for South Cambridgeshire, made comments blaming immigrants for bringing germs and HIV to the UK and accused Muslims of having divided loyalties, according to The Guardian.
In an article on The Spectator website, dated January 2003, Mr Browne wrote: “It is not through letting in terrorists that the government’s policy of mass migration – especially from the third world – will claim the most lives. It is through letting in too many germs.”
4) Alun Cairns – still standing
Alun Cairns quit as Welsh Secretary after claims he had known about a former aide’s role in the ‘sabotage’ of a rape trial.
He claims he had been unaware of former staff member Ross England’s role in the collapsed trial until after the story broke.
But BBC Wales said it had obtained a leaked email sent to Mr Cairns which showed he had been made aware of the allegations as early as August last year.
The email, dated August 2 2018, was sent to Mr Cairns by Geraint Evans, his special adviser, and was also copied to Richard Minshull, director of the Welsh Conservatives.
It said: “I have spoken to Ross and he is confident no action will be taken by the court.”
Four months later Mr England was selected as the Welsh Conservatives’ candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan for the 2021 Welsh Assembly election.
Mr Cairns’s reputation has been severely damaged by the revelation – but he is still standing for the Conservatives in the Vale of Glamorgan.
Lee Canning, the deputy chairman of the Tories in Wales has stood down over “serious concerns” about some candidates, and claims recent scandals could “completely annihilate” their election prospects.
5) Andrew Griffiths – Quit (replaced by his estranged wife)
Shamed Tory Andrew Griffiths pulled out of the race to be the candidate for his Burton seat after he lost the support of leading members of his association.
The disgraced politician, who was sacked as business minister after it emerged he sent X-rated texts to two barmaids behind his wife’s back, failed to gain the majority needed for re-selection in his Burton seat.
Tory insiders told the Mirror that his wife had exacted her “revenge” by successfully standing for the seat.
She went into a pool with two other candidates and was then selected by local members.
6) Charlie Elphicke – Quit
Charlie Elphicke, who has represented Dover since 2010, lost the Tory whip in 2017 when allegations of sexual assault were referred to the police.
He was readmitted to the Conservatives last December ahead of a confidence vote in then-prime minister Theresa May, but was again suspended when he was formally charged in July this year.
He denies the allegations but he will not stand as the Tory candidate in the Kent constituency.
Instead his wife Natalie will contest the seat.
Elphicke is accused of a sexual assault against one woman in 2007 and two assaults against a different woman within a week of each other in 2016. He denies the allegations and has stood down to fight them in court.
7) Antony Calvert – Quit
The serial Tory candidate was forced to step down after a series of offensive social media posts were unearthed.
Antony Calvert, who was standing for the Conservatives in Wakefield said that if former Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi wanted to walk the streets unrecognised, he should “surely have fled to Bradford”.
He also once posted that Labour’s Harriet Harman had to stop “banging on about wholly and utterly irrelevant feminist issues”and claimed that “if there was a reason to be involved in public office” it was to expose ‘ludicrous’ claims of food poverty in the UK.
He also stood unsuccessfully in Wakefield in 2017 when he got into trouble for sneering at working class locals for drinking coffee.
He tweeted: “Man recognises me at #Wakefield Westgate. “These f*ckin Tories, always looking 2 trample on t’working class, like me”. Man walks into Costa.”
8) Joy Morrissey – Still standing
Joy Morrissey has had a bit of a colourful past.
Before she dreamed of sitting on the leather benches in the House of Commons, the parliamentary hopeful worked a as a small-time actress.
Her biggest role was as the co-star in the low budget comedy ‘bonk fest’ Geek Mythology which saw her ride a man like a pantomime horse – while he wore a cowboy hat.
But perhaps more troubling for voters is her attitude to the health service.
In 2016 she accused Labour of “fetishising” the health service and said people should stop calling it “our NHS” or “treating it like a religion” in a scathing blog.
She wrote in January 2016: “The institution remains remarkably unchanged – the promised armageddon again failing to materialise.
“The credibility of these increasingly hysterical forecasts of doom can surely be no more than that of the deluded old soul wandering Oxford Street with his “The End Is Nigh’ placard.
“The only one left for them now a NASA-style 10 second countdown.”
9) Kevin McNamara – quit
A Lib Dem general election candidate has stepped down after being accused of making a series of racist and homophobic tweets.
The party said it had “immediately opened disciplinary investigations” against Kevin McNamara, who was the party’s candidate for Thurrock.
Screenshots of the tweets circulating on Twitter claimed to show the parliamentary hopeful used racist and homophobic slurs in 2009 and 2010.
His Twitter account has since been ‘protected’ – meaning only confirmed followers can see them.
A screenshot of a tweet from 2011 appear to show Mr McNamara making a sexist comment.
Various screenshots show him using the racial slur ‘n*****’ on several occasions in 2009 and 2010.
The party immediately opened disciplinary investigations into Mr McNamara and he was stopped from standing.
10) Waheed Rafiq – Quit
The Liberal Democrats have suspended one of their general election candidates after it emerged that he had allegedly shared anti-Semitic material online.
Waheed Rafiq was selected by the party to stand in the Labour safe seat of Birmingham Hodge Hill.
But he was kicked out of the party this afternoon as a spokeswoman said comments reportedly made by Mr Rafiq were ‘clearly and unambiguously anti-Semitic’.
The spokeswoman said the comments ‘bring the party into disrepute’ and as a result the candidate would no longer have any association with the Lib Dems.
The decision to suspend Mr Rafiq came just hours after the party launched its general election manifesto and two hours before Jo Swinson was due to hold a campaign rally in London.
11) Ian Byrne – still standing
Ian Byrne has been cleared by a special panel of the Labour Party to stand on 12 December.
Mr Byrne, who is running in the safe-seat of Liverpool West Derby, shared a message about Baroness Michelle Mone, the founder of underwear brand Ultimo, calling to “hit the c**t where it hurts.”
The post, shared in 2015 on Facebook, then received comments calling for violence against Baroness Mone, and accused her of betraying her working-class roots.
Mr Byrne has apologised for the comments, saying he was “working in a printing shop and at the start of my political journey” when he made them.
The party’s ruling NEC met to discuss whether Mr Byrne should remain a candidate after he received the backing from Jeremy Corbyn.
The party said it had now concluded he will be allowed to stand in the safe Labour seat, which Stephen Twigg regained with a majority of 32,908 in 2017.
12) Keith Vaz – Quit
Shamed MP Keith Vaz decided to stand down before the General Election .
The Labour MP was facing suspension from the Commons for six months after he was found to have “expressed willingness” to purchase cocaine for others.
The Sunday Mirror exposed the Leicester East MP in September 2016.
It found Vaz called himself Jim and posed as an industrial washing machine salesman. He also paid two male escorts for sex at his flat.
Vaz apologised and quit as chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee after the secret came to light.
He said in a statement about his decision to quit: “I have decided to retire after completing 32 years as the member of parliament for Leicester East. In that time I have won eight general elections. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve my constituency since I came to the city in 1985.
“I want to thank the people of Leicester East for their absolute loyalty and support. Leicester and especially the people of Leicester East will always be in my heart.”
13) Zahara Sultana – Still standing
Zarah Sultana who was forced to apologise after social media posts emerged in which she said she would celebrate the deaths of Mr Blair and Benjamin Netanyahu.
14) Gideon Bull – Quit
Haringey Councillor Gideon Bull quit as the party’s candidate after an accusation he made an antisemitic comment to a fellow cabinet colleague.
It was alleged that during a private meeting, he used the antisemitic term ‘Shylock’, a reference to the name of the villainous Jewish moneylender in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
In a statement Mr Bull said it “entirely false” that he directed the term to Jewish councillor Zena Brabazon, deputy leader of the council but a housing decision.
15) Kate Ramsden – Quit
The party’s candidate in Gordon, in Aberdeenshire, stepped down after a blog post she wrote about Israel came to light.
In it she compared Israel to an abused child who becomes an abusive adult.
She said: “I have taken the decision to step down as Labour Party candidate for Gordon, following criticism of a blog written at the height of the bombardment of Gaza by the government of Israel.
“I can see why many Jewish people have been hurt by my words.
“That was never my intention and I apologise unreservedly.”
16) Jane Aitchison – still standing
The candidate for Pudsey Jane Aitchison compared killing Tony Blair and Benjamin Netanyahu during an excruciating interview with Radio 5Live’s Emma Barnett.
Ms Aitchison had gone on to defend another candidate but she made the situation worse.
She was trying to defend Zarah Sultana who was forced to apologise after social media posts emerged in which she said she would celebrate the deaths of Mr Blair and Benjamin Netanyahu.
The interview with Emma Barnett was the definition of a car crash.
17) Frances Hoole – Quit
Labour’s candidate in Edinburgh South West Frances Hoole stepped down over an offensive social media post.
Ms Hoole apologised for a post she shared on Twitter calling her SNP opponent (Joanna Cherry a “terf”.
She shared a crudely mocked picture of her holding a bottle of Cillit Bang pointing towards a decapitated Cherry, with the words “Bang and the Terf is gone”.
Terf, trans-exclusionary radical feminist, is seen as an offensive term describing a group of feminists who do not see trans women as women.
Cherry, who has been outspoken on the subject, shared the image, tweeting: “Earlier this year I received a death threat & a storm of misogynistic abuse for defending #womensrights. The @scottishlabour candidate standing against me in #EdinburghSouthWest thinks it’s funny. I hope she will apologise & engage in respectful debate #GE19.”