A jury was selected today in the trial of a UKIP councillor accused of electoral fraud. Cllr Matthew Smith was forced to stand down as a general election candidate after he was charged with several counts of making a false statement in nomination papers and making a false instrument with intent.
Apparently this was too much, even for UKIP, to stomach. A spokesman told the press in March last year:
“Matthew Smith will be suspended from the UKIP group on Norfolk County Council and his candidature as PPC for Great Yarmouth is also suspended.”
But the memo evidently never reached East Anglia. Not only does Smith still describe himself as a “UKIP County Councillor” but he can also be clearly seen at the very bosom of UKIP’s election operation in May last year — nearly two months after he was supposedly suspended.
The fact that a camera from the Guardian was at the local election count in Great Yarmouth clearly didn’t seem to bother Smith or his colleagues.
Smith is a county councillor for Norfolk — not a borough councillor in Great Yarmouth. He wasn’t a candidate either, so the way he would have got into the count would presumably have been at the invitation of UKIP campaign organisers.
Suspension — UKIP style!