Wrekin: Liberal Democrat candidate steps down over abuse allegation

By Shuhel Ahmed and Aled Thomas

The Liberal Democrat candidate for The Wrekin today dropped out of the election campaign after accusations of sexual abuse.

Candidate David Murray from Ash Grove in Albrigton, West Midlands, was advised by senior party officials to withdraw from the campaign just six days after it officially started.

Mr Murray, who was unavailable for comment today, has already been replaced swiftly by candidate Alyson Cameron-Daw.

A West Mercia police spokeswoman said: “Police have received a complaint regarding an allegation of historical sexual abuse. The investigation is in its very early stages.”

Local party chairman Irene Hughes said: “I can’t say too much as this is a police matter, all I can say is Mr Murray was a very hard working councillor.”

Ms Hughes said she was delighted to have a new candidate in place: “We are very grateful the national party found us a new candidate so quickly.

“Alyson is a very competent lady, I haven’t met her but have spoken to her, and she is coming up here very soon.”

She added: “When she becomes the MP she will of course move here, because she feels very strongly that MPs should live in the local constituency.”

The nature of the allegation can prove to be damaging to the Lib Dems’ hope of winning what was thought to be a winnable seat from the Conservatives. The seat was won in 2005 by Mark Pritchard with a majority of 942 votes.

The allegation comes two days before the Liberal Democrats are to officially unveil their party manifesto.