AN EX-GREEN Party rising star is back in politics in Coventry after she resigned in controversial circumstances after allowing her child rapist father to act as her election agent.
Former Greens equalities spokesperson Aimee Challenor, 20, who is transgender, had been a candidate for the deputy leadership of the party until she pulled out of the race before she was suspended last August.
The one-time prospective city MP has repeatedly denied having full knowledge of the horrific crimes of her father, David Challenor, when he acted as her election agent.
The 50-year-old was jailed for 22 years after being found guilty of torturing and raping a young girl in the attic of his Coventry home.
An independent inquiry financed by the Green Party found that Ms Challenor had made a ‘serious error of judgement’ hiring her father on three separate occasions after he was charged.
It also found the Green Party failed to respond appropriately after being told of Mr Challenor’s charges.
But Ms Challenor is now back working as a diversity officer only this time for the Coventry Liberal Democrats, on a voluntary basis.
The party locally and nationally has rallied around her, saying that her error in hiring her father should not prevent her from having a meaningful political career.
Highly thought of in her previous roles, Ms Challenor says she is going nowhere and her desire to stand up for the vulnerable should not be discredited by the crimes of her father.
She told us: “I have the backing of the local party who voted me into my role. I’ve also spoken a number of times with the West Midlands Liberal Democrats and the Federal Liberal Democrats HQ. I have their backing, as well as the backing of the LGBT+ Liberal Democrats and the Young Liberals.
“I am a Liberal Democrat because it is the Liberal Democrats who are defending my rights as a European, my rights as a young woman, and my rights as a transgender person.
“Thanks to the support of the English Liberal Democrats I am being actively supported with mentorship and training to help ensure I am better equipped for any future political activities and so I can Demand Better for the people in Coventry.
“I am not my father, his crimes are not mine, he has been sentenced for his crimes.
“In this country, we do not punish children for this he crimes of their parents, to do so would be a betrayal of the civil liberties and justice that we promote as a country.”
A Coventry Liberal Democrat spokesperson added: “Our view as Coventry Liberal Democrats is that we have and will judge Aimee as an individual on her own merits and that we believe it is the mentoring and us as colleagues to give Aimee any support she may need in doing her job to the best of her ability.
“It is our view that Aimee has the skills necessary for the role and that while she did make an error in judgement, that shouldn’t be the end of her career but instead simply means Aimee should receive any support that may be necessary in the role.”
A spokesperson from the national party said they were well aware of the circumstances surrounding Ms Challenor’s resignation and that all new members are made aware of the party’s safeguarding policies.