Kurten at City Hall in 2018
|UKIP Spokesperson for Education|
30 November 2016 - 5 December 2018
|Member of the London Assembly|
as the 11th Additional Member
6 May 2016
|Born||22 March 1971|
Littlehampton, Sussex, England
|Political party||UK Independence Party|
|Alma mater||University of St Andrews|
University of Bath
University of Southampton
David Michael Kurten AM (born 22 March 1971) is a British politician and former teacher who has been a UK Independence Party (UKIP) member of the London Assembly since the 2016 London Assembly election. He characterises himself as a social conservative.
Born to a British mother and Jamaican father, Kurten 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.
Before entering politics, Kurten had taught the subject for over 15 years in both private and state schools in the UK, Bermuda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana and the USA.
In October 2016, Kurten announced his intention to stand for UKIP leader following the resignation of Diane James after just 18 days. However, he withdrew from the contest and joined fellow London Assembly Member Peter Whittle in endorsing Paul Nuttall. Following the contest, Nuttall appointed Kurten as UKIP Education spokesperson on 30 November 2016.
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. He returned after Gerard Batten became leader on 14 April.
In the May 2018 local elections, Kurten contested his local Sidcup ward in the London Borough of Bexley but he failed to be elected. He then unsuccessfully stood as UKIP's candidate in the Lewisham East by-election on 14 June 2018, getting 380 votes (1.7%) and coming sixth.
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 far-right activist Tommy Robinson as an "advisor". He remained a member of the party, but disbanded the UKIP group on the London Assembly forming the Brexit Alliance group with Peter Whittle, who had resigned his UKIP membership altogether following Robinson's appointment.
In October 2019, Kurten announced his intention to stand as a 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.
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