A Conservative local election candidate was forced to withdraw his name from the ballot after tweeting that Islam was the ‘religion of rape’.
David Bishop, who was set to stand as the Conservative candidate for the ward of Brentwood South, Essex, resigned from the role after both anti-Islamic and homophobic messages were found on his Twitter profile.
Just four days after it was announced that four Muslim men had been arrested for the rape of a 14-year-old girl, the controversial former candidate wrote ‘[Islam] "the religion of peace" & rape’.
Further investigations into Bishop’s profile saw that he had also posted links to videos of the controversial comedian, Pat Condell, who has previously called Islam the ‘religion of war’.
Following his resignation, Bishop released an official statement on the Brentwood and Ongar Conservative Association (BOCA) saying he ‘had let the party down’ and would no longer be considered a candidate on the 22nd May elections.
He added: “I recognise that someone standing for public office should show leadership and seek to unite communities, not divide them.
“I have let myself and my party down and, in order to avoid any further embarrassment, I have taken the decision to resign from the Conservative party with immediate effect. I will not be asking anyone to vote for me on 22nd May.
“I hope the residents of Brentwood South can forgive my lack of judgement in time.”
Louise McKinlay, group leader of Brentwood Conservatives, wrote her own message on the site, welcoming the resignation of Bishop, stating that he had ‘no place in our team’.
She wrote: “David's decision to step down was the right thing to do and I am pleased the party has backed this and accepted his resignation from the team and from the party.”