One of Britain’s most argumentative radio presenter to stand down and run as MP at election

LBC radio presenter Iain Dale has stepped down from his role to run in the upcoming general election. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

LBC radio presenter Iain Dale has stepped down from his role to run in the upcoming general election.

The controversial host, who has been a staple on the channel since 2010, will step away to follow one of his life’s ambitions of becoming an MP.

Mr Dale, 61, will vying to become the Conservative candidate for Tunbridge Wells - one of the almost 200 seats the Tories are scrambling to choose election candidates.

Talking live on air on Tuesday evening, he told his listeners: “You know how much politics means to me. And if you’ve listened for any length of time, you know I’ve always had two ambitions in life. One was to be a radio presenter and the other was to be an MP.”

This is the second time the broadcaster has attempted election, having failed to win a seat in Norfolk North in 2005.

iain dale, 2024 general election, one of britain’s most argumentative radio presenter to stand down and run as mp at election
Iain Dale (LBC/PA)

“Last time I tried, the electorate fought back, in quite a major way it has to be said. But now I am putting my hat in the ring again to be a candidate at the General Election,” Mr Dale said.

“Whatever the result, I feel I can play a role in restoring trust and honesty in politics. There are no guarantees I will be selected, let alone elected, but I know that I would forever kick myself if I didn’t at least have a go.

“Even if you don’t share my politics, I hope at least that’s something you can respect.”

iain dale, 2024 general election, one of britain’s most argumentative radio presenter to stand down and run as mp at election
The Tories are scrambling to find candidates for almost a third of constituencies (PA Wire)

During his time at LBC, Dale presented four general election night shows, two US presidential election shows and the Scottish and Brexit referendum night shows, as well as the station’s evening programme.

Speaking later on his podcast, he said it would be a “massive blow” if he was selected but did not win.

iain dale, 2024 general election, one of britain’s most argumentative radio presenter to stand down and run as mp at election

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“I’m essentially giving up the best job I’ve ever had, I’m giving up quite a good income on the chance that I might possibly be selected. A lot of people think I’ve gone stark raving mad,” he said.

iain dale, 2024 general election, one of britain’s most argumentative radio presenter to stand down and run as mp at election
Iain Dale said it would be a ‘massive blow’ if he doesn’t win

“The reason I’m doing it is because it is an itch I need to scratch, even at the ripe old age of 61.

“I just thought, whatever the result of this election, and we all know what the polls say, I think I could play a bit of a role in not just helping the Conservative Party through some fairly traumatic and difficult times, but actually rebuilding it.”

He added: “I’m fundamentally a conservative and always have been, I fundamentally believe in Conservative values, however you define them nowadays,” he said.

Broadcast rules mean candidates in the General Election aren’t allowed to present radio shows and although Mr Dale could continue presenting until Friday, he is stepping down immediately.

Tom Cheal, LBC’s Senior Managing Editor, said: “Iain Dale is a world-class broadcaster, and has been hugely important in helping to make LBC the political powerhouse it is today.

“I’m sure this isn’t the last we’ve heard of Iain on LBC. We understand his decision and thank him for his massive contribution to the station.”

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