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Former Essex MP convicted of electoral fraud

Bob Spink was the Conservative MP for Castle Point from 1992-97 and 2001-08 before defecting to UKIP. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/PA Images

A former UKIP and Conservative MP from Essex has been found guilty of tricking elderly constituents into signing electoral forms backing local candidates.

Bob Spink, who served as Tory MP for Castle Point in Essex for 12 years before defecting to the pro-Brexit party in 2008, was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of four counts of submitting false signatures on nomination forms, a type of electoral fraud.

Spink, 69, of Benfleet in Essex, showed no emotion as the jury foreman returned majority verdicts on all four counts he faced.

He will be sentenced in the New Year.

Mr Spink was the MP for Castle Point, which covers the Canvey Island and Benfleet area of Essex, from 1992 until 1997 and 2001 until 2010.