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Reform candidate Sarah Westwater will stand for Deputy in St Lawrence

Credit: Vote.je

Reform candidate Sarah Westwater will stand for Deputy in St Lawrence.

The decision was made by the Royal Court today after concerns were raised over inconsistencies on her nomination paper.

It means that an election for both Deputy positions will still take place in the parish.

At a special hearing in the Royal Court today three Jurats were told there had been a number of issues relating to Ms Westwater's nomination form.

Ms Westwater is standing on behalf of the Reform Jersey political party, and should have had two representatives of the party sign her form before she collected signatures from her proposer and seconders.

However, it emerged the signatures had not been gathered in that order.

Two of Ms Westwater's seconders also gave evidence today to say that it had not been made clear to them that she was standing as a candidate for the Reform party.

They said that while they would have backed her as an independent candidate they would not necessarily have signed her form had they known she was standing for Reform.

The court was also told there was another section on the form where a candidate is asked to mark whether they're standing independently or on behalf of a party, and Ms Westwater had left this section blank, selecting neither option.

The solicitor general, the government's chief representative in legal proceedings, told the court that in his opinion the errors, while appearing to be genuine mistakes and not deliberate, meant Ms Westwater's candidacy was invalid.

However, following almost six hours of evidence the Jurats ruled that Ms Westwater can still stand in May's election.

After the verdict the parish Constable Deirdre Mezbourian said she was "very pleased" with the decision, and that it was "good for democracy."

The Reform Jersey party have issued a statement saying

"We are pleased that the Royal Court has firmly ruled in our favour and stated that Sarah Westwater's candidacy was valid and legal".

Ms Westwater and two other candidates are competing for two Deputy positions in the parish of St Lawrence on May 16.

Our reporter Jessica Savage was in court and explains what happened:

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