A man standing to be a candidate for the Green Party in May’s Peterborough City Council elections has admitted electoral fraud.
Richard Horton (29) was aiming to become the party’s candidate for the Fletton and Woodston ward having previously contested the same seat in 2016.
To run in the local elections candidates must complete a form and gain the signatures of 10 supporters who appear on the electoral register.
When the returning officer reviewed Horton’s form on April 3 she recognised two of the names listed as people she knew had moved to Australia last year.
The returning officer contacted police to report her concerns and Horton was interviewed. During the interview he admitted falsifying all 10 signatures that appeared on the form.
Today (Wednesday, August 29) at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court Horton, of Wharf Road, Woodston, pleaded guilty to falsifying signatures on election papers.
He was handed a two-month suspended sentence, ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and pay a victim surcharge of £115 and £85 costs.
Detective Inspector Andy Tolley said: “We are proud, and extremely fortunate, to live in a country that values democracy. We take allegations of electoral fraud incredibly seriously and attempts to unlawfully gain office will not be tolerated.”
A spokesperson for Peterborough City Council said: “Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire Constabulary are working closely to reduce the risk of election fraud being committed and ensure voters have confidence in the electoral system.”
When the Green Party announced its candidates for May’s local elections Horton was originally named as standing in Fletton and Woodston, before he was replaced by another candidate.