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Tory Police and Crime Commissioner candidate disbarred over driving offence
9 May 2021, 20:43
A Tory candidate says he is "bitterly disappointed" after being disbarred in his Police and Crime Commissioner election.
Jonathon Seed was standing for the Wiltshire and Swindon post but is no longer eligible after a historic driving offence had "come to light", according to the Conservative Party.
But Mr Seed said in a statement that he had declared the conviction to the party when he applied for the role.
He said: "I can confirm that I have today withdrawn my candidacy for the post of Police Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon.
"To the best of my knowledge and belief when I applied for, and became the Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for the Conservative Party in Wiltshire and Swindon, I was an eligible candidate.
"I have declared my 30-year-old driving conviction to the party in my applications both to be a Parliamentary candidate and more recently a PCC candidate.
"Party officials confirmed my belief that my offence did not disqualify me. I have now been advised that this is not the case, and that I am disqualified as a PCC candidate. I have therefore withdrawn.
James O'Brien's instant reaction to 2021 election results
"I am bitterly disappointed that I will not be able to take up the post if I were to be elected. I wish the successful candidate every success in the role.
"I will continue with my work as a local councillor and within the local community, to which I have dedicated my life for the past 20 years."
Vote counting is set to take place in Salisbury on Monday.
The law that created Police and Crime Commissioners put a strict bar on historic offences, even if they have been spent.
The Electoral Commission's website says candidates cannot stand if they have ever been convicted of an imprisonable offence, even if they did not go to prison for it.
He was re-elected as councillor on Wiltshire Council on Saturday.
A spokeswoman for the Conservative Party said: "Due to a historic driving offence that has come to light, the candidate has been disbarred from becoming the Police and Crime Commissioner."