Conservative MP's dad running as UKIP candidate

May 1, 2013 at 12:28 AM
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LONDON, May 1 (UPI) -- The United Kingdom Independence Party Tuesday revealed one of its candidates in local elections is the father of a Conservative member of Parliament.

When his situation became public, Sushil Patel apparently tried to withdraw from Thursday's race for local council in Hertfordshire, The Guardian reported. But he learned he was past the deadline to back out.

"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," he said in a statement. "My views are my own and I am astonished that there has been quite so much interest in my candidacy."

Patel and his daughter, Priti, appear to share a common admiration for Margaret Thatcher. The daughter has said the Conservative prime minister inspired her to enter politics, while the euro-skeptic UKIP has recently claimed to be the party of Thatcher's true heirs.

Priti Patel had little to say about her father's candidacy, telling the Financial Times: "He's my dad, and I love him."

Patel immigrated to Britain from Uganda in the 1970s, fleeing Idi Amin's persecution of Asians. UKIP leader Nigel Farage said his candidacy shows the party is neither racist nor totally opposed to immigration.

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