Wednesday, 14 January 2015

UKIP plot thickens

From Great Yarmouth Mercury by Lucy Clapham:
Great Yarmouth UKIP leader gives evidence at fraud trial
County councillor Matthew Smith attends Norwich Crown Court on charges of electoral fraud.

The leader of Great Yarmouth’s UKIP branch has given evidence in the trial of three party supporters accused of electoral fraud.

Kay Grey, borough councillor for Gorleston, took to the stand at Norwich Crown Court yesterday and was quizzed about her nomination papers when she stood in the 2013 Norfolk County Council elections.

Matthew Smith, county councillor for Gorleston St Andrews, who had been selected to stand for UKIP in Great Yarmouth at the next general election, is one of the three standing trial.

The charges relate to the 2013 polls in the Yarmouth area when Smith stood for election and acted as UKIP’s electoral agent. The prosecution claim there were forged signatures on seven of eight forms submitted by the party in that campaign.

Mrs Grey, who stood for the Yarmouth North and Central ward in 2013, told the court she had filled in her nomination papers and then handed them to a party supporter who had collected the 10 signatures for her and he lived in the ward, before they were submitted to the town hall.

But the forms that ended up at the town hall did not contain her handwriting or signature, the court heard.

Brett Weaver, prosecuting, asked if she had seen the form that was shown to the jury.

She replied: “I have seen this form before but not with this writing on until the police showed it to me.”

Later the court heard statements from all 10 people who had signed her form, confirming it was their signature and they had agreed to putting their name down.

UKIP member Michael Monk and Daniel Thistlethwaite, who stood as a candidate in the West Flegg ward in the 2013 election, are also on trial.

The case continues.

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