Ukip councillor to face electoral fraud charges

A Norfolk Ukip councillor and would-be MP who is set to be charged over electoral malpractice allegations involving forged nomination papers says he will deny all wrongdoing.

Live updates

Ukip councillor to face electoral malpractice charges

UKIP councillor Matthew Smith.

A Ukip councillor and would-be MP who is set to be charged over electoral malpractice allegations involving forged nomination papers says he will deny all wrongdoing.

Matthew Smith, who was due to contest the Great Yarmouth seat in next year's general election, will appear in court next month.

The county councillor, who is 26 and from High Street, Gorleston, is set to face seven counts of supplying a nomination paper to a returning officer knowing it to contain a forged signature and three counts of producing forged nomination papers.

The allegations relate to nomination papers for Norfolk County Council elections held in the Great Yarmouth district between March and April last year.

Today Ukip said Mr Smith had been suspended from both the Ukip group on Norfolk County Council and as a prospective parliamentary candidate.

But the councillor said he would deny all the charges and criticised the way news of the allegations had been made public.

He said: "If I am charged - and I haven't been charged yet - I will be denying all charges. I'll be pleading not guilty to everything.

"I want to issue a real cause for concern that the press was made aware of these charges before I was."

In a statement Norfolk Constabulary today said three men in total had been reported for summons. The charges were authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Back to top