Former Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner candidate charged by police

Earlier this year, Jonathon Seed stood for the Conservative Party and was elected Police and Crime Commissioner in Wiltshire. However, he did not take up his seat following the revelation that a driving conviction meant he was banned from holding the post.

As I wrote at the time:

There’s … a question for the police, as the law may have been broken over Seed’s nomination papers. They required him to sign that he was not disqualified from holding office.

From some media reports, it sounds like his defence would be ‘but a Conservative official told me it was ok’. In some previous cases, the authorities have – rightly – looked kindly on people who made a mistake in good faith. But given what the law says, this is something that at the very least should be properly investigated.

The police have now investigated and the Crown Prosecution has announced that:

Rosemary Ainslie, head of Special Crime at the CPS, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has today authorised police to charge Jonathon Seed with making a false declaration in the nomination papers for the Wiltshire 2020 Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

“The charge relates to an allegation he made a false declaration that he was not disqualified from election as a Police and Crime Commissioner.

“The CPS made the decision that he should be charged after reviewing a file of evidence from Thames Valley Police.

“The CPS reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against this defendant are active and that he has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice proceedings.”

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