Newcastle Tory election candidate stands down over Riba fraud claim

A Conservative Tyneside local election candidate has stood down after he was dismissed as regional director of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) amid fraud allegations.

Jonjo MacNamara, who was standing in the South Jesmond ward in Newcastle, has also resigned from the party.

Riba said he had been dismissed with immediate effect for gross misconduct.

Northumbria Police said it was investigating whether any offence had been committed.

Although he will no longer be standing, Mr MacNamara's name will remain on the ballot paper because the deadline for nominations has passed.

'Cease to campaign'

Mr MacNamara has been unavailable for comment.

A Conservative spokesman said: "Mr MacNamara has resigned, with immediate effect, from the Conservative Party.

"The party will cease to campaign in the ward and he will not have any further involvement in the mayoral referendum campaign."

Riba said in a statement: "A thorough internal investigation uncovered several instances of fraud and financial irregularity over the past 12 months amounting to nearly £10,000.

"We are in the process of reimbursing individuals and organisations who were affected."

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Police have received a report of suspected fraud and will carry out inquiries to establish whether any offence has been committed."

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