Tory candidate James Cracknell labels party ‘a shower of s---’

James Cracknell, the former Olympic rower and current Conservative Party candidate
James Cracknell, who won gold for Team GB at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, is standing in a constituency not won by Labour since 1945 - Andrew Crowley for the Telegraph

A former Olympic rower standing for the Conservatives at the election has described the party as “a shower of s---” in an official campaign video.

James Cracknell, who won gold for Team GB at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, also appeared to suggest that candidates and officials who allegedly bet on the date of the election were guilty of an “abuse of trust”.

He is standing in Colchester, Essex, a seat that has not been won by Labour since 1945. The Conservatives won it with a majority of 9,423 in 2019.

“Two weeks out from the Olympics, if we are competing against the Conservative Party my teammates and I would be saying they are a shower of s---,” Mr Cracknell said in the video, posted on his Facebook page on Saturday.

“And if one of my teammates got caught for cheating, they’d be dead to me. That abuse of trust is unforgivable.”

James Cracknell has used an official campaign video to label the Conservative Party 'a shower of s---'
Mr Cracknell also said that candidates and officials who bet on the date of the election were guilty of an 'abuse of trust' - The Guardian

His remarks came a day after it was reported that a fourth Conservative is under investigation for allegedly betting on when the election would be called. Nick Mason, the party’s chief data officer, has denied wrongdoing.

Craig Williams, Rishi Sunak’s parliamentary private secretary, Tony Lee, the Tory director of campaigning, and Laura Saunders, Mr Lee’s wife, who is standing in Bristol North West, are also under investigation by the Gambling Commission.

The Prime Minister said on Monday that the Tories were conducting an internal inquiry into the scandal and that he was “not aware” of any other candidates being accused of having placed a bet on when the election would be held.

Mr Cracknell said: “So why am I still canvassing and delivering leaflets? Because I believe the Conservative way is the best for the country – freedom to succeed, protection of our national security and personal responsibility. If any party deserves to have the Union Jack on its literature, it’s the Conservative Party.”

He also vowed to not “blindly defend things that have gone on in the past that I don’t agree with” if elected as the city’s MP.

“I’ve a pretty strong moral compass, and believe in right or wrong, and there’s things that have been wrong,” he said in an interview with The Guardian on Monday.

“I’m just going to be really honest if I agree with something or not. That may annoy some people in central office, but I’m fighting to represent the people of Colchester and they’re my priority.”