Nick Conrad against Go Ape boss and counter terrorism expert to be picked as Broadland election candidate

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

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

The two candidates who will be rivals with former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad's to be selected as the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Broadland have been revealed.

Mr Conrad has quit the BBC, where he has presented the radio station's breakfast programme since 2016, because he wants to be the Tory candidate to retain the departing Keith Simpson's seat.

Broadland Conservative Association is holding its selection meeting tonight, where party members will decide who should stand with a blue rosette in next month's general election.

Mr Conrad's rivals for the role have now been revealed - including the managing director of Go Ape and an expert in counter-terrorism.

One of Mr Conrad's rivals is Alicia Kearns, who was the Conservative Party candidate in Mitcham and Morden in 2017. She has recently been on the campaign trail with Chloe Smith, who is hoping to retain her Norwich North seat.

The mother-of-one grew up in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, where she gained a degree in social and political sciences from Cambridge University.

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She previously worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a counter-terrorism expert, where she led UK government interventions in Syria and Iraq and advised governments on how to combat ISIS.

The other candidate is father-of-three Jerome Mayhew, who lives in Suffolk, is the managing director of outdoors adventure company Go Ape.

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He has had held that role since 2009, after an initial career as a barrister.

He is the son of Lord Mayhew, who served in the cabinets of prime ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

Meanwhile, Twitter users have been reminding people about Mr Conrad's comments during a 2014 radio show where the rape conviction of former Norwich City Football Club loan player Ched Evans was discussed.

Mr Conrad had 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?"

Complaints triggered an Ofcom investigation. The watchdog said his comments "were offensive", but the BBC took steps to limit the offence and he had apologised on air.

Whoever wins the Conservative selection process, their political opponents will include Jess Barnard (Labour), Andrew Boswell (Green), Ben Goodwin (Liberal Democrat) and Alex Hayes (Brexit Party).

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