The Conservative Party has explained why it dropped a Herts candidate hours before nominations closed.

Jaymey McIvor had been due to fight the Hemel Hempstead seat for the Tories in the election, but announced on Friday afternoon (June 7) that he was withdrawing from the contest “for personal reasons”.

In a post on X, just 50 minutes before the 4pm deadline for submitting nominations, the Epping Forest councillor said he was “sad” to announce he was no longer a candidate.

He added: “I’m incredibly proud of my campaign and the people I’ve met along the way. Especially the members who put their faith in me.”

In a message to local members, seen by the PA news agency, Hemel Hempstead Conservative Association chairman William Wyatt-Lowe said Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) had made him and Mr McIvor aware of “an anonymous complaint” about the candidate’s “prior conduct” on Thursday.

The message said Mr McIvor had denied the allegations and refused to resign his candidacy, but his party membership had been suspended pending an investigation meaning he was not eligible to stand as the party’s candidate.

The message said: “Jaymey is in full support of this investigation as he is certain it will clear his name and allow him to pursue his political ambitions in the future.”

Members have been asked to return any campaigning material with Mr McIvor’s name on it, adding: “I am sure that you will all agree with me that our thoughts must be with Jaymey and his family at this time.

“We can only imagine the pain this must be causing all of them. I am sure that Jaymey will, once able to do so, remain a close friend and supporter of Hemel Hempstead Conservative Constituency Association and I look forward to campaigning alongside him in the years to come.”

In his place, CCHQ appointed Andrew Williams, a Hertfordshire county councillor and leader of the Conservative group on Dacorum Borough Council, as the party’s candidate for Hemel Hempstead.

A spokesperson for the party said: “A matter was brought to our attention.

“Jaymey McIvor has been suspended by the party pending the outcome of an investigation. The party’s complaints process is private and confidential.”

The deadline for submitting nominations for the General Election passed at 4pm on Friday.

Final list of all candidates for the Hemel Hempstead seat:

  • Sammy Barry-Mears - Liberal Democrats
  • Sherief Hassan - The Green Party
  • David Taylor - Labour Party
  • Noel Willcox - Reform UK
  • Andrew Derek Williams - The Conservative Party