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Essex UKIP accused of false election signature

By Simon Dedman
BBC News

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image captionUKIP election agent James Parkin (left) shared a stage with his party leader Nigel Farage during a rally on Canvey Island in 2015

The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has been accused of using someone's name and signature on an election form without their knowledge.

Rupert Duke's name appears on nomination papers for a UKIP candidate in council elections in Essex.

Mr Duke, who was not a member of the party, said it was "a disgrace" and he had reported the matter to police.

UKIP's election agent for Castle Point Borough Council said it was an "administration error".

image copyrightCastle Point Borough Council
image captionRupert Duke was one of 10 people backing Lucy Parkin's nomination to stand for election on 5 May on Canvey Island

Mr Duke was named as a supporter of UKIP candidate Lucy Parkin's nomination in the Canvey Island Winter Gardens ward for the council elections on 5 May, but he said "it is not a party that holds my vote".

'Insulting my intelligence'

"It's a disgrace that they've used my name, address, electoral roll number and they've forged my signature - they've signed it - so how can that be a mistake?" said Mr Duke.

"It's insulting my intelligence and everybody else's."

James Parkin, UKIP's electoral agent for the borough, said he "doesn't know how it happened" and called it an "administration error or some mistake".

"I am not corrupt - the reason I got into politics is to stop these sort of things from happening," he said.

"The signatures [on the nomination forms] have been done by a lot of different people… candidates, friends and during [campaign] action days.

"I've got 140 signatures for the different wards and it seems to me there is a slight problem with one signature, which we are looking into."

Mr Parkin said he had been contacted by Essex Police, but had not been questioned yet.

A force spokesman said it was reviewing an allegation and "the purpose of the review is to establish if any criminal act has occurred".

Earlier this year, a Conservative Castle Point councillor was cleared of assaulting Mr Parkin in the run-up to last year's council elections.

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