Conservative policing boss won’t be voting for Lib Dem candidate he nominated

News from Norfolk about a forthcoming council by-election:

Lorne Green, the county’s Conservative police and crime commissioner, has seconded Lib Dem Erika Coward in the election for West Norfolk council’s Snettisham ward, which is taking place on Thursday.

Mr Green said he agreed to sign after being approached by a member of Mrs Coward’s campaign team, who said she was struggling to obtain enough signatures to confirm her nomination.

“I support democracy and I was happy to sign it,” he said. “I’m fully supportive of anyone who wants to run for any party, that’s democracy, but I did it on the basis I don’t support the Liberal Democrats”…

Mrs Coward’s agent Josie Ratcliffe said: “We collected the signatures from residents in the normal way and he was happy to support Erika going on the list as a candidate.

“It’s about the local democratic process. There’s nothing behind it other than he’s a local resident and he was in the area when we were collecting signatures.” [Eastern Daily Press]

This may not be the most traditional way of ensuring you get enough signatures on a nomination paper in England and Wales. (Scotland has different rules with such signatures not required there.) It is though a good example of how a bit of imagination can often help go from ‘we can’t stand a candidate’ to ‘hooray, we’ve got a candidate’. And standing more local election candidates is very beneficial even if winning is highly unlikely this time round.