Article in the Sunday Times 26.08.18 Aimee Challenor will not quit over child rapist and torturer father

The original article is here.    

A transgender politician used her parent as an election agent while he was facing child sex and torture charges

A young politician and transgender activist who is running for deputy leadership of the Green Party was fighting for her political life last night after it emerged that she had used her father as her election agent even though he faced charges of raping and torturing a 10-year-old girl.

Aimee Challenor, the party’s equality spokeswoman and a former parliamentary candidate, insisted last night she would not withdraw from the leadership contest after her father, David, was sentenced to 22 years for the “depraved” crimes. Aimee lived with him in a small two-up, two-down house.

A jury at Warwick crown court last week convicted David Challenor of holding the child captive in the attic of the terraced house, where he tied her to a beam, whipped her and attached clips to her body to give her electric shocks.

Dressed in a nappy and an adult-sized baby costume, the 50-year-old raped the girl and forced her to perform sex acts on him. As well as the rape he was found guilty of false imprisonment, gross indecency, assault by penetration, indecent assault, assault causing actual bodily harm, making indecent images of children by downloading them and possessing prohibited images.

This weekend Aimee Challenor offered no comment but a party spokeswoman said the candidate had been unaware of the crimes and would not step aside. “We are offering her our support at this challenging time,” she said.

Challenor, a high-profile transgender campaigner, stood as a Green candidate in St Michael’s ward, Coventry, at May’s local elections and as the party’s parliamentary candidate for Coventry South at the general election last year.

On both occasions she appointed her father as her election agent, legally responsible for running her campaign, even though he had been accused of or charged with the crimes, which were reported to police in late 2015. By the time of May’s elections he had a trial date.

Candidates’ election campaign leaflets are legally required to include the name of their agent or promoter. Challenor’s leaflets for both campaigns, seen by The Sunday Times, did not show her father’s correct name, instead giving it as “Baloo Challenor”.

Baloo, a character from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, was a nickname used by Challenor’s father in his work as an assistant Scout leader and volunteer with children’s gymnastics. He used his proper first name on the election nomination forms as Challenor’s agent.

Challenor’s father, who used the Twitter name An Old Arch Devil, also carried out design work for the Green Party’s national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender campaign.

Challenor, 20, who was born a boy, transitioned at 16, around the time the rape took place, after a turbulent childhood that included being taken into care in about 2013 with two of her siblings after social services expressed concern about her parents. They set up a successful public Facebook campaign to win the children back.

Challenor became involved in politics towards the end of the 2010 to 2015 coalition government. “That threw out the Conservatives and the Lib Dems for me because of tuition fees, austerity and a lack of action on climate change,” she said in an interview in June.

The Green Party was also “miles ahead of the competition” on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues at the time, she said.

She has become a mainstay of the transgender activist community, criticising feminists who have concerns about potential reforms to gender recognition laws as “transphobic” and demanding that the organisers of last month’s Pride in London event resign for allowing one such group to lead the parade.

The Green Party said it was “shocked and horrified” by the offences but was “not aware of any of these allegations until the case concluded and Mr Challenor had been sentenced”.