A former Ukip parliamentary candidate has pleaded guilty to committing electoral fraud.
Matthew Smith, who had been due to stand in the key seat of Great Yarmouth, was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work at Norwich Crown Court yesterday.
Mr Smith, 27, admitted a charge of allowing a false signature on a nomination paper.
He currently sits as a county councillor in Great Yarmouth and will be disqualified from that position on account of his conviction.
Judge Anthony Bate said such offences risked undermining the reputation of politics.
“Most of your adult life has been devoted to pursuing a keen interest in local politics,” he said.
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“Quite why you committed an act of utter folly is difficult to define. You could have achieved your aim, albeit in a more time-consuming way, perfectly honestly.”
On Twitter Mr Smith said he was glad the trial was over and that he could make no further comment.
“Glad to have today over with so I can get on with things and sadly will never be able to publicly view any thoughts on the matter,” he said.
Mr Smith had been selected to stand for Ukip in Great Yarmouth, but was suspended by the party.
The party ultimately obtained 23.1 per cent of the vote in the seat with another candidate, coming in third place.Reuse content