Norfolk

UKIP election candidate Matthew Smith faces fraud charge

  • 17 March 2014
  • From the section Norfolk
Matthew Smith, UKIP
Image caption UKIP councillor Matthew Smith represents Gorleston on Norfolk County Council

A man due to stand for UKIP in Great Yarmouth at the next general election has been summonsed to faces charges of electoral malpractice.

Norfolk county councillor Matthew Smith, 26, is accused of seven counts of supplying a nomination paper to a returning officer knowing it to contain a forged signature.

He also faces three counts of producing forged nomination papers.

Mr Smith, of High Street, Gorleston, was a party agent in Great Yarmouth.

Norfolk Police said Mr Smith was accused of returning fraudulent nomination papers in the Norfolk County Council elections held in the Great Yarmouth district between March and April 2013.

A spokeswoman said: "The charges were authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service and follow an investigation into allegations of electoral malpractice reported to Norfolk Constabulary last April."

Three-way alliance

Two other men also faces charges in connection with the election

Daniel Thistlethwaite, 19, of Station Road, South Belton, and Michael Monk, 60, of Freeman Close, Hopton, each face a charge of one count of supplying a nomination paper to a returning officer knowing it to contain a forged signature.

All three are due to appear at Norwich Magistrates' Court on 4 April.

Richard Coke, leader of the UKIP group on Norfolk County Council, said he was in the process of suspending Mr Smith from the group, pending the outcome of the court case.

UKIP helps to run the council as part of a three-way alliance with Labour and the Liberal Democrats, supported by Green and independent councillors.

Mr Smith was UKIP's candidate for the position of Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

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