Boris Johnson says Nick Conrad comments during rape case debate ‘completely unacceptable’

Former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad. Pic: Nick Butcher.

Former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad. Pic: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Prime minister Boris Johnson has said newly-selected Conservative Broadland candidate Nick Conrad's comments while discussing a rape case were 'completely unacceptable'.

Asked whether he was comfortable that Mr Conrad had been picked to run for his party, Mr Johnson said the former BBC Radio Norfolk breakfast show presenter had apologised long ago.

Mr Conrad, 34, was picked by Broadland Conservative Association on Wednesday night to run for the seat vacated by the departing Conservative Keith Simpson.

But comments made during a 2014 radio conversation about the rape conviction of former Norwich City Football Club loan player Ched Evans, who was later cleared at retrial, have come in for fresh criticism.

Mr Conrad said: "I think women need to be more aware of a man's sexual desire that when you're in that position that you are about to engage in sexual activity there's a huge amount of energy in the male body, there's a huge amount of will and intent, and it's very difficult for many men to say no when they are whipped up into a bit of a storm."

He also said: "What I'm trying to say is that women also have to understand that when a man's given certain signals he'll wish to act upon them and if you don't wish to give out the wrong signals, it's best, probably, to keep your knickers on and not get into bed with him. Does that make sense?"

The comments were investigated by broadcasting watchdog Ofcom with no further action taken after Mr Conrad and the BBC apologised.

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After his selection on Wednesday, Mr Conrad said he had been quizzed about the comments during the hustings.

He apologised again and said: "It's a very genuine heartfelt apology. I completely messed up, I knew I'd got it wrong and it didn't demonstrate the fact that I know that it's the most abhorrent crime.

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"I've for many years broadcast very difficult subject matter and I was very disappointed in myself after the reaction flared up on the back end of those comments.

"I apologise, I learned from it and I moved forward. I think that's the critical thing."

Mr Johnson, quizzed on the comments during a visit to Scotland, said: "Those comments are completely unacceptable, he has apologised long ago but I can't stress that those comments are completely unacceptable."

Labour's shadow education secretary Angela Rayner described Mr Conrad's comments as "despicable".

"He is not fit to be an MP and it would be an affront to women everywhere if he were to become one," she said.

"The Conservatives must drop him as a candidate immediately but I have no faith that they will."

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