So Priti Patel’s father was publicly a candidate for UKIP for approximately an hour and a half today before it was announced he was standing down. So what happened?
Needless to say that senior UKIP figures were rather excited about securing Mr Patel as a candidate, so much so that one of their senior comms people couldn’t help but cough it to a BBC journalist in the Marquis of Granby, Westminster last night. Unfortunately for the spinner he failed to check who said Beeboid was drinking with – a government special adviser – who promptly went round the corner and immediately called the story in to CCHQ. By the time it broke this afternoon, the Tories were well prepared to kill it and the rest they say is history…
UPDATE: He’s still a candidate say UKIP:
Mr. Patel remains the UKIP candidate for the Bushey South Division in the Hertfordshire County Council elections. He is currently convalescing from a recent serious operation and is unable to conduct any further interviews. Mr. Patel said, “I am proud of being a UKIP candidate and very proud of the achievements of my daughter who represents the people of Witham in an exemplarily fashion. My views are my own and I am astonished that there has been quite so much interest in my candidacy”.
UPDATE II: UKIP sources keen to stress no names mentioned in pub and pressure from CCHQ on Mr Patel only came this afternoon, after James Forsyth’s Tweet. Phone call came during photoshoot, there was a minor wobble but Sushil Patel is on ballot and is a candidate.