Conservative’s relief he will face no further action in Norwich City Council election fraud probe

Photo: Nick Butcher.

Photo: Nick Butcher. - Credit: EDP pics © 2007

One of the men arrested on suspicion of alleged electoral fraud in the Norwich City Council elections has spoken of his relief after he was released with no further action to be taken.

Chloe Smith, Conservative MP for Norwich North, Pic: Eliza Boo Photography

Chloe Smith, Conservative MP for Norwich North, Pic: Eliza Boo Photography - Credit: Eliza Boo Photography

Daniel Elmer, 28, was one of two men that Norfolk police arrested on Thursday, following an allegation around the signatures for the nomination for the Conservative candidate in Mancroft ward.

He and a 21-year-old man, understood to be Alex Jackson-Dennis, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit election fraud, specifically to submit nomination papers containing fraudulent signatures.

Mr Jackson-Dennis, the deputy chair political of Norwich Conservatives, acted as the agent for all of the Conservative candidates in this month's Norwich City Council elections and stood in Thorpe Hamlet himself. He is also an Old Catton parish councillor.

He has been released pending further investigation, but police have confirmed there will be no further action against Mr Elmer.

Scenes from the Norwich City Council election count. Picture: Ian Burt

Scenes from the Norwich City Council election count. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

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Mr Elmer, also an Old Catton parish councillor, stood for the Conservatives in Catton Grove in last year's Norfolk County Council elections and for Catton Grove and Bowthorpe in the 2016 and 2015 city council elections.

He said he was 'very pleased' that he had been released without further investigation and had been reinstated as a member of the Conservative party with immediate effect.

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He said: 'Having been involved in the political community of Norwich for several years, both as a candidate and as an agent, I have seen the work and dedication that many volunteers put in, regardless of their political beliefs, to make our county a better place, I am left very saddened by these allegations.

'I will be fully co-operating with the police whilst the investigation is ongoing, and support any action that they now wish to take.'

The Conservative candidate for Mancroft ward this year was Iain Gwynn, There is no suggestion that Mr Gwynn or other candidates were aware of the alleged activity.

Meanwhile, Conservative Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, has said: 'I was shocked to hear of these allegations. I totally condemn electoral fraud in all its forms.

'As this is an ongoing police investigation, I expect it to take its course and I could not comment on any specifics.'

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