British candidate resigns over right-wing fake rally plot

 A candidate for Britain`s ruling Conservative Party in a key seat in May`s general election resigned on Monday after being accused of plotting with the far-right to stage a fake anti-mosque protest.

AFP| Updated: Mar 24, 2015, 00:35 AM IST

London: A candidate for Britain`s ruling Conservative Party in a key seat in May`s general election resigned on Monday after being accused of plotting with the far-right to stage a fake anti-mosque protest.

The Mail on Sunday published a video of Afzal Amin apparently discussing a scheme with the English Defence League in which he would step in to defuse the fabricated rally in a bid to boost his support.

Amin said earlier on Monday that he would mount a "robust defence" of his actions, but later a Conservative Party spokesman said he would resign as an election candidate with "immediate effect".

"Conservative chairman Grant Shapps has welcomed Mr Amin`s decision and thanked him for his work in the past."

Amin, 40, is a former army captain.

With only weeks to go before the closely-fought May 7 election, his resignation and the surrounding controversy is a blow to the Conservatives, who have struggled to appeal to ethnic minority voters.

He was standing for a parliamentary seat in Dudley North, central England, which has a large Asian community and is a target seat for the Conservatives currently held by the centre-left Labour party.

Amin described a plot in which the EDL would announce a march against the construction of a new mosque in Dudley, but then cancel after talks between himself, the EDL and Muslim community members.

"This is my fantasy," Amin is reported as saying in the secretly-recorded footage.

"If I could demonstrate to the people in Dudley that I can be a positive voice for community cohesion... then that would help me a lot in the forthcoming election."