Cromer would-be councillor’s anger at rejected paperwork
PUBLISHED: 12:11 06 February 2013
A would-be election candidate has hit out at the nomination system after he was thwarted in his attempts to stand in a by-election being held later this month.
John Morgan wanted to stand as an Independent in the upcoming by-elections being held in the town on Thursday, February 21, for the Cromer seat on North Norfolk District Council, which came up after the death of leader Keith Johnson.
But Mr Morgan, who stood as an Independent in the same ward in 2007, saw his two nomination papers deemed invalid by council electoral services staff.
His first nomination paper was ruled out as one of the people who signed it had already signed another candidate’s nomination.
When he came back with a second paper he claims he had not been told by NNDC staff that he had to provide 10 completely new signatories for his nomination.
He said: “Why else would I have gone back to eight of the people who had previously nominated me if I knew that just one of their names on my form would invalidate it?”
He also claims he was given further misleading advice about how the forms could be filled in.
Mr Morgan has now taken the matter to the electoral commission and has appealed to the Returning Officer to reconsider her decision.
NNDC maintains Mr Morgan was given correct advice by electoral staff.
Returning officer Sheila Oxtoby said: “Unfortunately Mr Morgan submitted two nomination papers, neither of which was completed as required in law.
“He was personally advised on both occasions of what was required for his nomination to be accepted. The legislation governing the nomination of candidates is quite precise; there is no flexibility and the council must abide by the letter of the law.”