Bob Spink: Former Tory and Ukip MP guilty of tricking elderly constituents into supporting his party

Bob Spink was found guilty of electoral fraud

Bob Spink was found guilty of electoral fraud

Friday, January 5, 2018

A former Ukip and Conservative MP will be sentenced after being found guilty of tricking elderly constituents into signing electoral forms backing local candidates.

Bob Spink, who served as Tory MP for Castle Point in Essex for five years before defecting to the pro-Brexit party in 2008, was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of four counts of submitting false signatures on nomination forms, a type of electoral fraud.

The 69-year-old, who became Ukip's first-ever MP after switching sides in 2008, will be sentenced at Basildon Crown Court alongside James Parkin, 39, who was Ukip's election agent at the time.

He was found guilty of two counts of the same offence, and found not guilty of three. He had already admitted two counts.

Jurors heard Spink tricked "elderly and infirm" voters into signing the forms in April 2016, without making it clear what the documents were or which party he represented.

The court heard people in Spink's constituency signed forms believing they were petitions, and having no idea they were supporting the Ukip candidate in the Castle Point Borough Council elections.

None of the candidates included in Spink's deception won a seat on the council, although a handful finished runner-up, the court heard.