Derby council candidate lied in phone-in about honesty

Ashley Waterhouse at BBC Derby Ashley Waterhouse said the decision to lie was his alone

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A candidate for Derby City Council has apologised for using a false name in a BBC phone-in about honesty in politics.

Ashley Waterhouse, 22, a Conservative standing in the Normanton ward, rang Radio Derby's breakfast show calling himself "Paul in Normanton".

His voice and number were recognised and, after initial denials, Mr Waterhouse admitted he had lied.

Derby South Conservative Association said it had rejected his resignation, calling the deception a "mistake".

Mr Waterhouse had called Monday's breakfast show but had been told that as a candidate in May's election he could not take part.

He then rang back as Paul to support calls for politicians to face more rigorous screening of their backgrounds.

'Elaborate excuses'

Mr Waterhouse, posing as Paul, was again asked if he was taking part in the elections.

Phil Trow, the host of the breakfast show, said: "He said no at that point.

"When we discovered it was his phone number, we phoned him back and asked him whether he was Ashley Waterhouse. He denied it then.

"We phoned him back three times and had three different conversations and he came up with a whole list of elaborate excuses.

"Eventually he phoned back and did confess."

'Not perfect'

Asked why he had used a false name, Mr Waterhouse, said: "At the end of the day we all make mistakes, don't we?"

He added: "As the joke goes, 'how can you tell a politician is lying? Because he moves his lips', as I am now.

"But as I said, it was my decision and not the party's - I am not perfect."

Phil Bailey, chairman of Derby South Conservative Association, said: "I think it was a genuine mistake, I don't think it was deceit and lies.

"I just think he wanted to get his point over and I think it was the only way he could see to do it."

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