Green Party suspends member over father's child rape conviction

Aimee Challenor

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Aimee Challenor was running to become the deputy leader of the Green Party

The Green Party has suspended a member who was running to be deputy leader after her father acted as her election agent while facing a child rape charge.

David Challenor, 50, who was jailed for 22 years for child sex offences, had been the agent for Aimee Challenor at the 2017 general election.

She has been suspended from the party on a no-fault basis while an investigation takes place.

The party said it would release its findings once that was complete.

Earlier this week Ms Challenor, 20, who was the Greens’ equalities spokeswoman, pulled out of the race to be the party’s deputy leader, following her father’s conviction.

Challenor, of Charterhouse Road, Coventry, was found guilty at Warwick Crown Court of 20 offences including sexual assault, taking indecent photographs of a child, rape of a girl aged 10 and false imprisonment, and jailed last week.

The court heard he held a 10-year-old girl captive in his attic and photographed the abuse as it was carried out.

His crimes came to light after the girl confided in someone and it was reported to the police, who interviewed her towards the end of 2015.

Challenor was charged in November 2016, West Midlands Police said.

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Paul Beard

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David Challenor was jailed for 22 years

Following her withdrawal from the deputy leadership contest, Ms Challenor – a transgender activist – said “there were sustained periods” where she did not live in the family home.

She added: “On reflection, I can understand that it was unacceptable for me to appoint my dad as my election agent when he had been arrested.

“I can now understand the potential risks of that decision. For that I am sorry.”

On Twitter, she said she would be releasing a full statement about the suspension.

In a statement, the Green Party said: “An investigation will be conducted by an external agency into the circumstances and disclosures surrounding Aimee’s father being able to act as her election agent while facing charges for serious sexual assault against a minor.”

It said the suspension had been made following a number of complaints and would remain in place until a review at the next meeting of the Green Party Regional Council.

Following Challenor’s conviction, the party apologised and terminated his membership as soon as the information came to light.

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