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Nick Conrad controversy has ‘galvanised’ Tories, claims candidate

PUBLISHED: 12:10 09 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:30 09 December 2019

Jerome Mayhew and his family. Mr Mayhew, who founded Go Ape, is the Conservative Party candidate for Broadland. 
Picture: Jerome Mayhew

Jerome Mayhew and his family. Mr Mayhew, who founded Go Ape, is the Conservative Party candidate for Broadland. Picture: Jerome Mayhew

Archant

A Conservative candidate who took over after Nick Conrad was forced to quit says the local party has been “galvanised” by the scandal.

Jerome Mayhew is standing for the Broadland seat and decided to throw his name into the ring due to his own frustration with Brexit.

The businessman made the final three of a hustings to be chosen to represent the Broadland area but lost out to former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Mr Conrad, who resigned 24 hours later due to controversial comments he made about a rape case in 2014.

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The Broadland hopeful said the change in candidate had no negative impact on the campaign and had instead "galvanised" the conservative association to rally even more.

With days to go before the polls open, the Mr Mayhew said his focus was on Brexit, the NHS, policing and using the free market to help those in need.

Out canvassing, the former Go Ape managing director said an "overwhelming" number of conversations had been about Brexit.

"I felt I had to get involved to do my bit to sort this out," he said. "We need to stop re-fighting the referendum battle, deliver on the referendum instruction and then work to bring our country back together.

"What I want to emphasis is that the last three years have created some real damage to our democracy.

"We are democratic, the public wanted to leave in 2016 so leave we must.

"We need to start rebuilding trust in our democratic process."

Mr Mayhew along with brother started Go Ape in 2006 in Thetford and as its managing director has seen it grow to 34 locations across the UK and in 14 states in America.

The former managing director stepped back from Go Ape last November to focus on a political career.

He added: "I have real life experience of running a business, hiring people, the difficulties and changes of business, making people, on occasion, redundant. I have experience on when government can help and hinder business."

Other candidates standing for the Broadland seat include: Jess Barnard (Lab) Andrew Boswell (Green) Ben Goodwin (Lib Dem) and Simon Rous (Universal Good Party).


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