David Kurten

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David Kurten

David Kurten.jpg
Kurten at City Hall in 2018
UKIP Spokesperson for Education
In office
30 November 2016 – 5 December 2018
LeaderPaul Nuttall
Henry Bolton
Gerard Batten
Preceded byPaul Nuttall
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Member of the London Assembly
as the 11th Additional Member
Assumed office
6 May 2016
Preceded byMurad Qureshi
Personal details
Born (1971-03-22) 22 March 1971 (age 49)
Littlehampton, Sussex, England
NationalityBritish
Political partyHeritage Party (since September 2020)
Other political
affiliations
Brexit Alliance
UK Independence Party (until 2020)
Alma materUniversity of St Andrews
University of Bath
University of Southampton
OccupationPolitician

David Michael Kurten AM (born 22 March 1971) is a British politician and former teacher who has been a member of the London Assembly since the 2016 London Assembly election. Elected as a UK Independence Party (UKIP) candidate, he subsequently left the party in January 2020.[1] He is the registered leader of the Heritage Party.[2] He characterises himself as a social conservative.[3]

Early life[edit]

The son of a British mother and Jamaican father, Kurten was raised by his single mother and his maternal grandparents in Sussex.[4] He graduated with a first-class BSc in Chemistry from the University of St Andrews in 1993, a PGCE from the University of Bath in 1995, and completed a MRes in Chemistry at the University of Southampton in 1998.[5] Before entering politics, he taught chemistry for over 15 years in both private and state schools in the UK, Bermuda, Bosnia–Herzegovina, Botswana and the USA.[6]

Political career[edit]

In the 2015 general election, Kurten stood for the UK Independence Party in Camberwell and Peckham, taking 4.7% of the vote.[7] He was second in the UKIP additional member list in the 2016 London Assembly election and succeeded in being elected to the London Assembly, alongside Peter Whittle; UKIP having reaped 171069 votes.[8][9]

In October 2016, Kurten announced his intention to stand for UKIP leader following the resignation of Diane James after just 18 days.[10] However, he withdrew from the contest and joined fellow London Assembly Member Peter Whittle in endorsing Paul Nuttall.[11] Following the contest, Nuttall appointed Kurten as UKIP education spokesperson on 30 November 2016.[12]

In the 2017 general election Kurten stood in the Essex seat of Castle Point, retaining his deposit with 5.3% of the vote.[13]

Kurten was seen as a front-runner to lead the party in the 2017 UKIP leadership election.[14][15] Henry Bolton was elected as leader, with Kurten in third place.

Kurten stepped down from the UKIP frontbench on 22 January 2018 in protest at Bolton's refusal to stand down as leader after he received a vote of no confidence from UKIP's national executive committee the previous day.[16] He returned after Gerard Batten became leader on 14 April.

In the May 2018 local elections, Kurten unsuccessfully contested his local Sidcup ward in the London Borough of Bexley.[17] He then stood as UKIP's candidate in the Lewisham East by-election on 14 June 2018,[18] getting 1.7% of the vote.[19] This by-election was mired in controversy, with left-wing activists disrupting a hustings event and abusing Kurten as he arrived; the meeting was stopped by police as Kurten began his speech.[20]

In December 2018, Kurten again resigned from the UKIP frontbench, this time on account of the anti-Islam direction of UKIP under the party's then-leader Gerard Batten, most significantly Batten's appointment of activist Tommy Robinson as an advisor on grooming gangs[21] On 12 December 2018, following Peter Whittle's departure from UKIP, he and Kurten disbanded the UKIP grouping on the London Assembly and formed the Brexit Alliance group, though Kurten remained a member of UKIP.[22]

In December 2019, Kurten stood as UKIP candidate in the constituency of Bognor Regis and Littlehampton in the 2019 general election after the Brexit Party announced they would not be contesting seats won by the Conservative Party in the 2017 election.[23] His vote share was 1.7%.

In the London Assembly, Kurten has persistently challenged Mayor Sadiq Khan on transport policy, policing, Brexit and ideological stances. He has supported black cab drivers against road closures[24] and unfair competition from Uber.[25] He has criticised politicised policing of demonstrations, drawing a contrast between approaches to Black Lives Matter and anti-lockdown rallies. On numerous occasions he has confronted Khan on gender ideology by promoting traditional family values,[26] and as a Brexit campaigner he opposed Khan's support for the EU and call for a second referendum.[27]

In January 2020, Kurten announced he would be running as an independent candidate in the upcoming London mayoral and London Assembly elections (then scheduled for May 2020, but both elections were postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 virus).[28]

In 2020 Kurten founded a new political party. The Heritage Party was registered with the Electoral Commission in October.[29][30] Kurten discussed prospects for the Heritage Party with Mike Graham on TalkRadio.[31] The manifesto is social conservative, emphasising faith, flag and family, while promoting civil liberties such as freedom of speech.

Kurten supported the presidency of Donald Trump and is a staunch critic of globalism and climate change alarmism. He has lectured and written on cultural Marxism, which he regards as the underlying agenda of the progressive establishment.[32] He has opposed LGBT teaching in schools and emphasised that parents are the primary educators of their children.[33][34] He supported Muslim parents who protested against LGBT lessons in primary schools in Birmingham.[35] As a result Kurten has been attacked by LBGT activists.[36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "David Kurten announces run for Mayor of London". Times Series. 28 January 2020. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  2. ^ View Registration - Heritage Party Electoral Commission Registration of Political Parties
  3. ^ David Kurten - Social Conservatism, YouTube, retrieved 13 August 2019
  4. ^ New Culture Forum (23 October 2020). "David Kurten: Why I Launched the Heritage Party to Combat the Progressive & Globalist Agenda". YouTube.
  5. ^ ‘KURTEN, David Michael’, Who's Who 2017, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2017
  6. ^ Brexit Podcast, 22: David Kurten on why he joined UKIP and the party's role in Britain's future, retrieved 9 November 2019
  7. ^ "Results 2015". Uk Parliament. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  8. ^ "Results 2016". London Elects. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  9. ^ "London Mayoral Election 2016: Labour dominate vote". BBC News. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  10. ^ Kurten, David (18 October 2016). "I am pleased to announce my intention to stand in the UKIP leadership election". Twitter. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  11. ^ Bloom, Dan (28 November 2016). "Who will be the next Ukip leader and who dropped out?". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  12. ^ "David Kurten AM appointed as Education and Apprenticeships Spokesman". UKIP. 30 November 2016. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Election result for Castle Point (Constituency) - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament". members.parliament.uk. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  14. ^ "An anti-Islam campaigner vies to lead Britain's populist right-wing party". The Economist. 17 August 2018.
  15. ^ "An anti-Islam campaigner vies to lead Britain's populist right-wing party". The Economist. 17 August 2018.
  16. ^ Maidment, Jack (22 January 2018). "Henry Bolton under intense pressure to quit as Ukip leader after eight senior figures resign from frontbench roles". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  17. ^ "2018 Election Results for Sidcup". democracy.bexley.gov.uk. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  18. ^ @GerardBattenMEP (14 May 2018). "I am very pleased that David Kurten AM has been selected as the UKIP candidate for the Lewisham East By-Election on 14th June" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  19. ^ "Labour hold Lewisham East in by-election". BBC News. 15 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  20. ^ "EXCL: Police shut down by-election hustings amid angry protest against Anne Marie Waters". Politics Home. 25 February 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  21. ^ "David Kurten". David Kurten.
  22. ^ "Ukip London Assembly members form new Brexit Alliance group". Evening Standard. 13 December 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  23. ^ Kurten, David (12 November 2019). "I am delighted to announce: I will be standing in the general election for @UKIP in Bognor Regis and Littlehampton. I will be the only Brexiteer standing against a Tory Remainer". @davidkurten. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  24. ^ "TFL Changes - A Disaster for the Taxi Trade". www.quotax.net. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  25. ^ "Mayor under pressure over renewing Uber's licence". London City Hall. 6 July 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  26. ^ "Mayor unveils plans for gender neutral public toilets in London". Evening Standard. 28 November 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  27. ^ Anonymous (9 October 2018). "Brexit". Mayor's Question Time. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  28. ^ Mathewson, Jessie. "David Kurten announces run for Mayor of London". Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  29. ^ "HERITAGE PARTY - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk.
  30. ^ "View current applications | Electoral Commission". web.archive.org. 18 July 2020.
  31. ^ TalkRadio (29 September 2020). "London mayor candidate: 'I'm astounded Sadiq Khan wants to shut the city down'". YouTube.
  32. ^ Feature, 16 September 2019 (16 September 2019). "The Problem with Cultural Marxism". European Conservative. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  33. ^ "No escape from the Tories' LGBT school agenda". The Conservative Woman. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  34. ^ Brexit Alliance (6/2/2020). "David Kurten opposes LGBT lessons in schools". YouTube. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  35. ^ Kurten, David (6 June 2019). "Muslims vs. LGBT: The 'Coalition of the Minorities' Collapses". Human Events. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  36. ^ "London mayoral candidate David Kurten thinks now is a good time to let you know he's against LGBT-inclusive education". PinkNews - Gay news, reviews and comment from the world's most read lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans news service. 11 August 2020. Retrieved 27 November 2020.

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