Matt quits, but he's still on ballot
PUBLISHED: 16:35 30 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:42 25 August 2010
When is a spoof not a spoof? Well, when it's true of course! The PR team at the English Democrats should take note after the spin they were in following their Mayoral candidate's resignation.
When is a spoof not a spoof? Well, when it's true of course!
The PR team at the English Democrats should take note after the spin they were in following their Mayoral candidate's "resignation".
Fathers 4 Justice campaigner Matt O'Connor sent out, what in the Diary's opinion is a brilliant email to all, announcing his resignation from the party.
Without holding back, he ranted: "For six years the party has failed to make any impact. In that same time I created a global brand with Fathers 4 Justice. The result says everything.
"When I joined I said I didn't think the party was up to the task in the Mayoral elections and advised against them doing it.
"But the whole way through has been like trying to run with a ball and chain round my ankles. Promised funds never materialised."
Then the plot thickened, as he started slinging mud firmly at a woman he only names as "Christine", who we take to be Christine Constable, vice-chair of the party.
He added: "She accused me of being racist with the web name (voteenglish.org) - like hello! This is the ENGLISH Democrats?
"Then of being anti-semitic with the line 'I'm not Jewish or Muslim, I'm English' after she consulted a 'professional'.
"All I asked was to be allowed to get on with my job and I wasn't allowed. No doubt, I'll be smeared for saying this, but England deserves better."
The scathing email was sent at 7.42am last Friday but less than two hours later the English Democrats sent out a desperate email denying everything - even his resignation. Their email claimed "someone has been hacking into all of the English Democrats computers and sending spoof emails regarding our Mayoral Candidate Mr Matt O'Connor. If you receive any emails regarding his resignation this is not true. So please ignore any email about this.'
We assume this did not apply to the official independent body in charge of the election - London Elects - which has confirmed his departure from the party. But the English Democrats had the last laugh in the end as O'Connor cannot resign as all the ballot papers have already been printed. In fact, his only way out would be to, well, pop his clogs.
His back-stabbing would have been more effective if he had bothered to check the election rules, which state that the latest date he could have resigned from the Mayoral race was April 2.
In yet another twist to this sordid tale of small-party politics, the chair of the party, Robin Tilbrook, issued a statement making personal allegations against O'Connor, claiming that the party were about to release a statement as they were worried about his personal safety.
Throwing another theory into the demise of O'Connor's love-in with the English Democrats, his agent Steve Uncles claimed that he was frustrated by the lack of media coverage.
Well, now the party have proved to have more in-fighting than the Lib Dems, they have at least remedied that situation.