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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.

Teenager charged over Norfolk stabbing

A teenager from Norfolk has been charged with grievous bodily harm after a man suffered stab wounds to his groin and head.

It happened on Thursday evening.

18-year-old Alexander Thorpe, of Warren Road in Gorleston, was charged on Friday.

He will appear before Norwich Magistrates Court on Saturday December 28.

The victim is receiving treatment at the James Paget Hospital and is described as in a stable condition.

Two additional men arrested in connection with this incident have been released with no further action.

Kate Prout reporting live from Gorleston earlier this evening

There's been widespread disruption with the east coast hit by, what's thought to be, the worst storm surge since 1953.

Thousands have evacuated their homes and businesses; power is down in many parts of the region and transport networks have also suffered.

Click below to see Correspondent Kate Prout reporting earlier this evening in Gorleston, near Great Yarmouth:

Read more: Flooding across the East

Read more on the Environment Agency website

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Residents take shelter at Gorleston rest centre

Residents takes shelter at Cliff Park High School in Gorleston.

Several residents from Great Yarmouth have taken shelter at Cliff Park High School in Gorleston. Rob Shelton, who is the Headteacher at the school, started welcoming people to the centre at around 4:30pm.

He said: “We had a group of 35 people from a care home in Great Yarmouth and since then a slow trickle of people that have been coming in and there is very much a community feeling...it's going well at the moment."

Norfolk sandbag locations (Great Yarmouth)

Norfolk Police have opened up the following sandbag locations:

  • Beach Coach Station
  • Pasteur Road car park (opposite Topps Tiles)
  • Southgates Road
  • Quay Road
  • Gorleston by the toiletsand the Runham Road junction

An additional site will open from approximately 1pm at the bottom of Beaconsfield Road (Northgate end). Police are asking people to bring their own shovels.

Arrested trio to face no further action over death of Gorleston man

Three people arrested in connection with the death of a Gorleston man will have no further action taken against them.

Malcolm Pratt, 51, known as Hank, was found collapsed inside in his home by police on Exeter Road on Monday 15 July after concerns were raised for his welfare.

Mr Pratt was initially treated at the James Paget University Hospital and later transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge where he died.

Two men from Great Yarmouth, aged 30 and 33, and a 31-year-old woman, also from Yarmouth, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

However, following a four month investigation, police have decided that no further action will be taken against these three people and the death is no longer being treated as murder.

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