and COLIN BROWN
Sir Nicholas Scott, an MP and former minister, has been charged with drink-driving and failing to stop after an accident involving a three- year-old boy.
Sir Nicholas, 62, MP for Chelsea, was also charged with careless driving and was bailed to appear before Horseferry Road magistrates court on 14 November, Scotland Yard said last night.
The charges follow an incident on 1 June when Sir Nicholas, of Putney, south-west London, allegedly drove his Volvo into an empty parked car in Sydney Street, Chelsea.
The stationary car was shunted forward into a man and his three-year- old son, who were treated for shock in hospital.
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman confirmed last night that Sir Nicholas was charged with driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop and driving without due care or attention.
Earlier this month, Sir Nicholas's constituency association voted not to automatically endorse him as its candidate at the next election. This meant he would have to fight it out with other candidates for the newly- created Kensington and Chelsea seat. His constituency association had the choice of either adopting Sir Nicholas as the sole candidate, or opening up the selection process so others could stand. It decided on an open selection procedure in which Sir Nicholas, who has represented Chelsea for 21 years, was to be one of the candidates.
The narrowing down of the 300 names begins in October, with the final selection due in November.
The charges facing Sir Nicholas, a former minister for the disabled, are also liable to create new problems for John Major, who is keen to improve the image of his party after a series of sleaze allegations.
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