Indian father-daughter drama spices up UK polls

  • Dipankar De Sarkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • |
  • Updated: May 07, 2013 01:01 IST

Priti Patel, a rising star in the ruling Conservative party, got a shock when her father announced his candidature for the rival UK Independence Party (UKIP) in local council elections.

UKIP, which has a strong anti-Europe and perceived anti-immigrant bias, is hated by many Conservatives.

According to the local media, Priti tried to pressure her dad, Sushil Kantibhai Patel, 64, after learning he was standing in last Thursday's local elections from Hertfordshire. Shortly after speaking to the pro-Conservative Daily Telegraph newspaper last week, Sushil emerged from a 10-minute telephone call to announce he with "withdrawing his candidacy," pointing to his back.

Priti Patel, who spoke glowingly of her father's family values and entrepreneurial spirit in an HT interview this year, denied pressuring him. "I have spoken to my dad and I told him it was up to him what he does. My dad was in hospital for major surgery on his back, which is why I am so shocked because I thought he was at home recovering.

Suresh Patel came second in the election, beating Labour and the Liberal Democrats but losing to the Conservatives by 1,200 votes.


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