One is always careful to take front page headlines in the Mail On Sunday at face value - after all, the average MoS splash usually contains more fabrication than a kit-build house - but, even the day after the story broke, the sheer idiocy of Tory Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) Afzal Amin, who was going to contest the marginal Dudley North seat, but now won’t be, is little short of jaw-dropping.
Amin held talks with the EDL. That would be bad enough, but then suggesting that two of the latter’s activists effectively get paid for canvassing - which is illegal - is worse. Worse still was Amin’s assurance to the EDL that “if I win my election in Parliament, you've got a very strong, unshakeable ally … 95 per cent of what you want to campaign against, we're with you”. And he was stupid enough to think he could trust the EDL, too.
[UPDATE 1620 hours Afzal Amin, far from defending his position robustly, has bowed to the inevitable and resigned as Tory PPC for Dudley North, a full day before he would most likely have been pushed. So that's another embarrassment for Grant Shapps avoided, then.
The inquest at Northcliffe House will no doubt continue, though. Meanwhile, all those voters from ethnic minority communities may be looking for somewhere to vote. And that somewhere is most unlikely to be the Tory Party]