Former Tory MP convicted of electoral fraud
A former MP who misled voters to sign his nomination forms was convicted on Friday of electoral fraud in local elections last year.
Bob Spink, 69, who represented Castle Point in Essex from 1992 to 1997 and 2001 to 2010, first for the Conservatives and from 2008 for Ukip, had denied offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983 but was convicted at Southwark crown court in London. The court was told how Spink had planned to stand as a Ukip candidate for Essex police and crime commissioner elections in May 2016. He had to gather at least 110 signatures on his nomination form and also assisted his election agent James Parkin to gather signatures for Ukip candidates in the Castle Point borough council elections which were taking place at the same time.
However, he failed to tell voters which party he was affiliated with and people signed the forms without being told they were nominating various other Ukip candidates. Some were told they were signing a petition for more police on the streets.
Parkin, 42, had already admitted falsely adding signatures to other UKIP candidates’ nomination forms. He submitted four signatures on another nomination form although those signing did not know what the form was for or thought they were signing for a different purpose.
Spink and Parkin will be sentenced on January 5, 2018.