General Election 2019: Havant Labour candidate dropped at last minute over satirical blog concerns

A LABOUR candidate for Havant has been dropped by his party just a day before nominees were due to be submitted over concerns about his satirical blog.

Thursday, 14th November 2019, 4:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th November 2019, 5:57 pm

Parliamentary hopeful Neil Kendall was deselected yesterday by Labour's national executive committee (NEC) citing his online writing as having the 'potential to damage the campaign.'

Mr Kendall, who writes under the name Wrenfoe for satirical site News Biscuit and his own blog Flibbertigibbet News, said he wished the new candidate 'every success.'

In a Twitter post he said: 'I'm afraid that my satirical online/tv writing could have the potential to damage the campaign.'

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Neil Kendall announced on Twitter that he had been deselected to stand in Havant for the Labour Party

Speaking to The News, he added: 'I have no desire to distract from the important national campaign. I wish the local party and their new candidate every success.'

Mr Kendall's online catalogue included lampooning articles suggesting only those related to Boris Johnson would be allowed to vote in the general election and comparing the Daily Mail to Hitler's autobiography Mein Kampf.

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Havant Labour confirmed Neil had been deselected but would not comment further.

Screenshot of Neil Kendall's blog

In his place activist and mum-of-three Rosamund Knight was chosen to stand. The 32-year-old from Stakes said: 'I am very excited to have been selected.

'I have been a local activist for quite some time and am a member of Acorn Portsmouth working to stand up for tenants who are worse off.'

Lib Dem candidate for Havant, Paul Gray, said: 'I am not familiar with the satirical site so I cannot comment on that. But I wish Neil all the best for the future.'

And Tory Alan Mak, who will be battling for re-election, condemned the party as being in 'chaos.'

He said: 'Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party is in chaos in Havant and any vote for them or their Liberal Democrat allies means Brexit is blocked, and our economy and national security are put at risk.

'Residents should vote Conservative if they want to re-elect a hardworking local MP.'

All candidates had to be put forward by parties on November 14.

The national Labour Party was approached for comment.