Coventry & Warwickshire

Green Party suspends member over father's child rape conviction

Aimee Challenor
Image caption Aimee Challenor was running to become the deputy leader of the Green Party

The Green Party has suspended a member who was running to be deputy leader after her father acted as her election agent while facing a child rape charge.

David Challenor, 50, who was jailed for 22 years for child sex offences, had been the agent for Aimee Challenor at the 2017 general election.

She has been suspended from the party on a no-fault basis while an investigation takes place.

The party said it would release its findings once that was complete.

Earlier this week Ms Challenor, 20, who was the Greens' equalities spokeswoman, pulled out of the race to be the party's deputy leader, following her father's conviction.

Challenor, of Charterhouse Road, Coventry, was found guilty at Warwick Crown Court of 20 offences including sexual assault, taking indecent photographs of a child, rape of a girl aged 10 and false imprisonment, and jailed last week.

The court heard he held a 10-year-old girl captive in his attic and photographed the abuse as it was carried out.

His crimes came to light after the girl confided in someone and it was reported to the police, who interviewed her towards the end of 2015.

Challenor was charged in November 2016, West Midlands Police said.

Image copyright Paul Beard
Image caption David Challenor was jailed for 22 years

Ms Challenor said she would be working with the inquiry and thanked those who have offered her support.

She added: "I am saddened to see circumstances have forced me away from the Greens at a crucial point for our party, though I remain fully committed to our shared Green values of environmental and social justice.

"I hope that the investigation is able to run efficiently, so that we can all move forward together."

In a statement, the Green Party said: "An investigation will be conducted by an external agency into the circumstances and disclosures surrounding Aimee's father being able to act as her election agent while facing charges for serious sexual assault against a minor."

It said the suspension had been made following a number of complaints and would remain in place until a review at the next meeting of the Green Party Regional Council.

Following Challenor's conviction, the party apologised and terminated his membership as soon as the information came to light.

Following the suspension, Clare Lorraine Phipps, acting chair and secretary of Green Party Women, said: "We will be standing by Aimee throughout her no-fault suspension and closely following the investigation to ensure that difficult lessons are indeed learnt by the party."

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