David Kurten

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David Kurten
Kurten in 2016
Leader of the Heritage Party
Assumed office
September 2020
Member of the London Assembly
for Londonwide
In office
6 May 2016 – 6 May 2021
Preceded byStephen Knight
Succeeded byEmma Best
UKIP portfolios
Personal details
Born (1971-03-22) 22 March 1971 (age 53)
Littlehampton, Sussex, England
Political partyHeritage Party (since September 2020)
Other political
Brexit Alliance (2018–2021)
UK Independence Party (2012–2020)
Alma materUniversity of St Andrews
University of Bath
University of Southampton

David Michael Kurten (born 22 March 1971) is a British politician who has served as leader of the Heritage Party since September 2020. He was previously a member of the London Assembly (AM) for Londonwide from 2016 to 2021. 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] and characterises himself as a social conservative.

Early life and career[edit]

David Michael Kurten was born in Littlehampton in Sussex on 22 March 1971 to parents Reginald Kurten and Patricia Kurten.[3] The son of a British mother and Jamaican father, Kurten was raised by his single mother and his maternal grandparents in Sussex.[4] He studied chemistry at the University of St Andrews, graduating BSc in 1993, before completing a PGCE at the University of Bath in 1995 and graduating MRes in chemistry at the University of Southampton in 1998.[3]

Between 1995 and 2016 he taught chemistry at schools in the UK, Botswana, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bermuda, and the United States.[3]

Political career[edit]

UK Independence Party[edit]

At the 2015 general election, Kurten stood for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in Camberwell and Peckham, coming fifth with 4.7% of the vote.[5] He was second in the UKIP London-wide list in the 2016 London Assembly election and was elected to the London Assembly alongside Peter Whittle, with the party getting 171,069 votes.[6][7] In October 2016, Kurten announced his intention to stand for UKIP leader following the resignation of Diane James after just 18 days.[8] However, he withdrew from the contest and endorsed Paul Nuttall.[9] Following the contest, Nuttall appointed Kurten as the party's education spokesperson on 30 November 2016.[10]

At the 2017 general election Kurten stood in the Essex constituency of Castle Point, winning 5.3% of the vote, which was sufficient for him to retain his deposit.[11] Kurten ran in the 2017 UKIP leadership election, where he came third, with Henry Bolton elected as leader.[12] Kurten stepped down from the UKIP frontbench on 22 January 2018 in protest at Bolton's refusal to stand down as leader after receiving a vote of no confidence from the party's national executive committee the previous day.[13] He returned after Gerard Batten became leader on 14 April.[citation needed]

Kurten at City Hall in 2018

In the May 2018 local elections, Kurten unsuccessfully contested his local Sidcup ward in the London Borough of Bexley.[14] He then stood as UKIP's candidate in the Lewisham East by-election on 14 June 2018,[15] getting 1.7% of the vote.[16] 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.[17] 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.[citation needed] 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.[18]

In December 2019, Kurten stood as the UKIP candidate in the constituency of Bognor Regis and Littlehampton in the 2019 general election after the new Brexit Party announced that it would not be contesting seats won by the Conservative Party at the 2017 general election. His vote share was 1.7%.[19]

Heritage Party[edit]

In the London Assembly, he confronted Sadiq Khan on what he called "gender ideology" by promoting "traditional family values",[20] and as a Brexit campaigner he opposed Khan's support for the EU and call for a second referendum.[21]

In January 2020, Kurten announced he would run 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 pandemic).[22] Kurten founded a new political party in 2020: the Heritage Party was registered with the Electoral Commission that October.[23][24] Kurten finished 15th with 11,025 votes in the mayoral election, while his party finished 13th on the London-wide list with 13,534 votes.[25]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Kurten spread contested COVID-19 claims by stating that the disease was no worse than the flu.[26] In December 2020, Kurten rejected a COVID-19 vaccine, for which he was denounced by the Conservative mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, who saw this as irresponsible for an elected politician.[27] Kurten has opposed lockdowns implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and he has attended protests against UK government policies.[28]

The Heritage Party got 1.6% of the vote, coming fourth, in the 2021 Hartlepool by-election with 468 votes. In the 2021 London elections, Kurten received 0.4% of the vote in the mayoral election, coming fifteenth, while the Heritage party list, headed by Kurten, received 0.5% in the Assembly vote. He was, thus, not re-elected.

Kurten contested the 2021 Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election in December 2021. He was unsuccessful, getting only 0.5% of the vote in the election.

Electoral performance[edit]

House of Commons[edit]


General election 2015: Camberwell and Peckham[29]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Harriet Harman 32,614 63.3 +4.1
Conservative Naomi Newstead 6,790 13.2 +0.2
Green Amelia Womack 5,187 10.1 +7.2
Liberal Democrats Yahaya Kiyingi 2,580 5.0 –17.4
UKIP David Kurten 2,413 4.7 New
All People's Party Prem Goyal 829 1.6 New
NHA Rebecca Fox 466 0.9 New
TUSC Nick Wrack 292 0.6 New
CISTA Alex Robertson 197 0.4 New
Workers Revolutionary Joshua Ogunleye 107 0.2 –0.3
Whig Felicity Anscomb 86 0.2 New
Majority 25,824 50.1 +11.3
Turnout 51,561 62.3 +3.0
Registered electors 82,746
Labour hold Swing +2.0
General election 2017: Castle Point[30]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rebecca Harris 30,076 67.3 +16.4
Labour Joseph Cooke 11,204 25.1 +11.3
UKIP David Kurten 2,381 5.3 −25.9
Liberal Democrats Tom Holder 1,049 2.3 +0.5
Majority 18,872 42.2 +22.5
Turnout 44,710 64.4 −2.3
Conservative hold Swing +2.6
2018 Lewisham East by-election[31]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Janet Daby 11,033 50.2 -17.7
Liberal Democrats Lucy Salek 5,404 24.6 +20.2
Conservative Ross Archer 3,161 14.4 -8.6
Green Rosamund Kissi-Debrah 788 3.6 +1.9
Women's Equality Mandu Reid 506 2.3 New
UKIP David Kurten 380 1.7 0.0
For Britain Anne Marie Waters 266 1.2 New
CPA Maureen Martin 168 0.8 +0.3
Monster Raving Loony Howling Laud Hope 93 0.4 New
Democrats and Veterans Massimo DiMambro 67 0.3 New
Libertarian Sean Finch 38 0.2 New
No description Charles Carey 37 0.2 New
Radical Party Patrick Gray 20 0.1 New
Young People's Thomas Hall 18 0.1 New
Majority 5,629 25.6 -19.3
Turnout 22,056 33.3 -36.1
Registered electors 66,140
Labour hold Swing -19.0
General election 2019: Bognor Regis and Littlehampton [32]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Nick Gibb 32,521 63.5 +4.5
Labour Alan Butcher 10,018 19.6 -5.3
Liberal Democrats Francis Oppler 5,645 11.0 +4.5
Green Carol Birch 1,826 3.6 +1.7
UKIP David Kurten 846 1.7 -1.9
Independent Andrew Elston 367 0.7 New
Majority 22,503 43.9 +9.8
Turnout 51,223 66.1 -1.6
Conservative hold Swing +4.9

Heritage Party[edit]

2021 Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election[33]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Louie French 11,189 51.5 -13.0
Labour Daniel Francis 6,711 30.9 +7.4
Reform UK Richard Tice 1,432 6.6 N/A
Green Jonathan Rooks 830 3.8 +0.6
Liberal Democrats Simone Reynolds 647 3.0 -5.3
English Democrat Elaine Cheeseman 271 1.3 N/A
UKIP John Poynton 184 0.8 N/A
Rejoin EU Richard Hewison 151 0.7 N/A
Heritage David Kurten 116 0.5 N/A
CPA Carol Valinejad 108 0.5 ±0.0
Monster Raving Loony Mad Mike Young 94 0.4 N/A
Majority 4,478 20.6 -20.4
Turnout 21,733 33.5 -36.3
Rejected ballots 50 0.2
Total ballots 21,783 33.6
Registered electors 64,831
Conservative hold Swing -10.2

London elections[edit]

2016 London Assembly election[34][35][36]
List Candidates Votes % ±
Labour Fiona Twycross (105,480), Tom Copley (95,891), Nicky Gavron (87,900),
Murad Qureshi (81,139), Alison Moore, Preston Tabois, Feryal Demirci, Mike Katz, Emily Brothers, Bevan Powell, Sara Hyde
1,054,801 40.3% –0.8%
Conservative Kemi Badenoch (127,372), Andrew Boff (109,176), Shaun Bailey (95,529),
Susan Hall (84,914), Amandeep Bhogal, Joanne Laban, Antonia Cox, Joy Morrissey, Timothy Barnes, Gregory Stafford, Kishan Devani, Jonathan Cope
764,230 29.2% –2.8%
Green Siân Berry (207,959), Caroline Russell (103,980),
Shahrar Ali (69,320), Jonathan Bartley, Noel Lynch, Rashid Nix, Dee Searle, Benali Hamdache, Andrea Carey Fuller, Anne RoseMary Warrington, Peter Underwood
207,959 8.0% –0.6%
UKIP Peter Whittle (171,069), David Kurten (85,535),
Lawrence Webb (57,023), Peter Harris, Neville Watson, Piers Wauchope, Afzal Akram, Elizabeth Jones, Tariq Saeed, Freddy Vachha, Peter Staveley
171,069 6.5% +2.0%
Liberal Democrats Caroline Pidgeon (165,580),
Emily Davey (82,790), Merlene Emerson, Robert Blackie, Zack Polanski, Dawn Barnes, Annabel Mullin, Marisha Ray, Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, Pauline Pearce, Benjamin Mathis
165,580 6.3% –0.5%
Women's Equality Sophie Walker, Harini Iyengar, Jacquelyn Guderley, Alison Marshall, Rebecca Manson Jones, Anila Dhami, Isabelle Parasram, Chris Paouros, Joanna Shaw, Kate Massey-Chase, Melanie Howard 91,772[37] 3.5% N/A
Respect George Galloway, Akib Mahmood, Mikail Rayne, Clare McCaughey, Rehiana Ali, Terry Hoy, Simon Virgo, Saurav Dutt, Tehmeena Mahmood, Karina Lockhart 41,324 1.6% N/A
Britain First Jayda Fransen, Paul Golding, Christine Smith, Anne Elstone, Nancy Smith, Hollie Rouse, Peggy Saunders, Donna King, Kevan McMullen, Steven Connor 39,071 1.5% N/A
CPA Malcolm Martin, Maureen Martin, Yemi Awolola, Helen Spiby-Vann, Ray Towey, Damilola Adewuyi, Kathy Mils, Kayode Shedono, Des Coke, Ashley Dickenson, Stephen Hammond, Kevin Nichols 27,172 1.0% –0.8%
Animal Welfare Vanessa Hudson, Jonathan Homan, Alexander Bourke, Linda Seddon, Zsanett Csontos 25,810 1.0% N/A
BNP David Furness, Paul Sturdy, John Clarke, Michael Jones, Peter Finch, Nicola Finch, Denise Underwood, Stephen Dillon, Philip Dalton, Gareth Jones, Beb Smith 15,833 0.6% –1.5%
The House Party Terry McGrenera 11,055 0.4% +0.1%
2021 London Assembly election[38]
List Candidates Votes % ±
Labour Elly Baker (98,661), Sakina Sheikh (89,692),
Murad Qureshi (82,217), Emine Ibrahim, Faduma Hassan, Sophie Charman-Blower, Bob Littlewood, Miriam Mirwitch, Shahina Jaffer, Taranjit Chana, James Beckles
986,609 38.1% Decrease2.2%
Conservative Shaun Bailey† (132,514), Andrew Boff (113,583), Susan Hall (99,385), Emma Best (88,342),
Selina Seesunkur (79,508), Toby Williams, Ahmereen Reza, Timothy Briggs, Simon Hoar, John Riley, Julian Gallant, George Currie
795,081 30.7% Increase1.5%
Green Siân Berry† (305,452), Caroline Russell (152,726), Zack Polanski (101,817),
Benali Hamdache (76,363), Shahrar Ali, Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, Ben Fletcher, Hannah Graham, Peter Underwood, Kirsten De Keyser, Jarelle Francis
305,452 11.8% Increase3.8%
Liberal Democrats Caroline Pidgeon (189,522), Hina Bokhari (94,761),
Robert Blackie (63,174), Chris Maines, Joyce Onstad, Irina von Wiese, Hussain Khan, Michael Bukola, Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, Adetokunbo Fatukasi, Charley Hasted
189,522 7.3% Increase1.0%
Women's Equality Harini Iyengar, Jacueline Dean, Tabitha Morton, Rebecca Manson-Jones, Nikki Uppal, Pamela Ritchie, Leila Fazal, Sarabajaya Kumar, Guilene Marcor, Sellisha Lockyer, Korina Holmes, Maureen Obi-Ezekpazu, Georgina Ladbury 55,684 2.2% Decrease1.3%
Rejoin EU Richard Hewison†, Deborah Iliffe, Charlotte Blake, John Stevens, Brendan Donnelly, Rory Fitzgerald, Benrd Rendic, Philipp Gnatzy, Karol Bobal, Raj Kumar, Javern Pond 49,389 1.9% New
Animal Welfare Vanessa Hudson†, Sam Morland, Alex Bourke, Femy Amin, Mark Scott, Julian Weisman 44,667 1.7% Increase0.7%
CPA Maureen Maud Marin, Helen Spiby-Vann, Ashley Keith Dickenson, Carol Valinejad, Eunice Oruyinka Ade Odesanmi, Katherine Susan Hortense, Desmond Coke, Donald Akhigbe 28,878 1.1% Increase0.1%
UKIP Peter Gammons†, Elizabeth Jones, Julie Carter, Stuart Freeman, Marjan Keqaj, Kakala Nyembwe, Ziz Kakoulakis, Geoffrey Courtenay, Anil Bhatti, Amir Latif, Simon Harman 27,114 1.0% Decrease5.5%
Reform UK Richard Tice, David Bull, Robert Poll, Dominique Day, Michael Pastor, Saradhi Rajan, Ian Price, Edward Apostolides, Mark Simpson, Michael Anthony, John Cronin 25,009 1.0% New
London Real Party Brian Rose†, Paul Frost, Kim Murray, Julian Bailes 18,395 0.7% New
Let London Live Piers Corbyn†, Heiko Khoo, Sylvia Da Barca, Julia Stephenson, Renos Samson 15,755 0.6% New
Heritage David Kurten†, Sean Finch, Lewis Glyn, Zachary Stiling, Barbara Ray, Dominic Stockford 13,534 0.5% New
TUSC Nancy Taaffe, April Ashley, Lewis Baker, Deji Olayinka, Andrew Walker, Thea Everett, Lawanya Ramajayam, Jack Jeffery, Marvin Hay, Len Hockey, Lois Austin, Bob Law, Ferdy Lyons, Rachel Lyon, Naomi Bryan, Pete Mason, Angharad Hillier, Hugo Pierre, Brian Debus, Mira Glavardanov, Niall Mulholland, John Viner, Wally Kennedy, Paul Kershaw, Paul Scott 9,004 0.3% New
Communist Robin Talbot, Judith Cazorla Rodenas, Philip Wedgwood Brand, Akira Allman, Lorraine Douglas, Stewart McGill, Lucian Branescu-Mihaila, Anita Halpin, Hannah Sawtwell 8,787 0.3% New
SDP Eric Siva-Jothy, Stephen Gardner, Matthew Beresford, Simon Marshall, Brilant Krasniqi, Seth Liebowitz, Tricia Bracher, Rosamund Hubley 7,782 0.3% New
Londependence Bella Roberts, Tom Foster, Daniel Jacobs, John Halnan 5,746 0.2% New
National Liberal Upkar Rai, Arunasalam Rajalingam, Faisal Maramazi, Araz Yurdseven, Ponniah Yogaraja 2,860 0.1% New


  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. ^ a b c "Kurten, David Michael, (born 22 March 1971), Member, London Assembly, Greater London Authority, since 2016 (UK Ind, 2016–20; Ind, since 2020)". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U287542. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  4. ^ New Culture Forum (23 October 2020). "David Kurten: Why I Launched the Heritage Party to Combat the Progressive & Globalist Agenda". YouTube.
  5. ^ "Results 2015". UK Parliament. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Results 2016". London Elects. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  7. ^ "London Mayoral Election 2016: Labour dominate vote". BBC News. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  8. ^ Kurten, David (18 October 2016). "I am pleased to announce my intention to stand in the UKIP leadership election". Twitter. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  9. ^ Bloom, Dan (28 November 2016). "Who will be the next Ukip leader and who dropped out?". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  10. ^ "David Kurten AM appointed as Education and Apprenticeships Spokesman". UKIP. 30 November 2016. Archived from the original on 23 January 2018. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Election result for Castle Point (Constituency) - MPs and Lords - UK Parliament". members.parliament.uk. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  12. ^ "An anti-Islam campaigner vies to lead Britain's populist right-wing party". The Economist. 17 August 2018.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "2018 Election Results for Sidcup". democracy.bexley.gov.uk. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  15. ^ @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.
  16. ^ "Labour hold Lewisham East in by-election". BBC News. 15 June 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  17. ^ "EXCL: Police shut down by-election hustings amid angry protest against Anne Marie Waters". Politics Home. 25 February 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  18. ^ "Ukip London Assembly members form new Brexit Alliance group". Evening Standard. 13 December 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ Crerar, Pippa (28 November 2017). "Mayor unveils plans for gender neutral public toilets in London". Evening Standard. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  21. ^ Anonymous (9 October 2018). "Brexit". Mayor's Question Time. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  22. ^ Mathewson, Jessie. "David Kurten announces run for Mayor of London". Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  23. ^ "HERITAGE PARTY - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk.
  24. ^ "View current applications | Electoral Commission". 18 July 2020. Archived from the original on 18 July 2020.
  25. ^ "Results 2021". London Elects. 9 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  26. ^ "London Mayor candidate wrong to claim Covid-19 pandemic is no worse than a flu season". Full Fact. 19 October 2020. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  27. ^ Sleigh, Sophia; Dunne, John (28 December 2020). "London Assembly member David Kurten branded 'irresponsible and reckless' for rejecting Covid vaccine". Evening Standard. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  28. ^ Prosser, Ryan (29 January 2021). "London Mayor Heritage Party candidate David Kurten criticises COVID chaos". SWLondoner. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  29. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  30. ^ "Castle Point". Election 2017. BBC News. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  31. ^ "UK Parliamentary By-Election – Lewisham East Constituency – Declaration of Result of Poll" (PDF). Lewisham London Borough Council. 14 June 2018. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  32. ^ http://www.arun.gov.uk/download.cfm?doc=docm93jijm4n14617.pdf&ver=14967 [dead link]
  33. ^ "Old Bexley and Sidcup: Tories hold safe London seat at by-election". BBC News. 3 December 2021. Archived from the original on 3 December 2021. Retrieved 3 December 2021.
  34. ^ "London-wide Assembly Member candidates, 2016". 1 April 2016. Archived from the original on 12 August 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  35. ^ "London-wide Assembly Member results 2016.pdf" (PDF). 6 May 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  36. ^ "Results 2016, London Elects". 6 May 2016.
  37. ^ While this is more votes than the last allocated list position, WEP were denied a seat because they failed to reach the 5% threshold https://www.londonelects.org.uk/sites/default/files/The%20voting%20systems_2.pdf Archived 3 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ Harpley, Mary. "Statements of persons nominated for the London Assembly (London-wide) | London Elects". www.londonelects.org.uk. Retrieved 20 April 2021.

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