Ex-Ukip and Tory MP given suspended jail sentence for electoral fraud offences

A former Ukip and Conservative MP has been sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, 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 Ukip in 2008, was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of four counts of submitting false signatures on nomination forms, a type of electoral fraud.

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Spink, 69, of Benfleet in Essex, was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £5,000 towards prosecution costs.

James Parkin, 39, from Canvey Island in Essex, Ukip's election agent at the time, was found guilty of two counts of the same offence, and found not guilty of three. He had already admitted two counts.

He was given the same sentence.

Former Ukip election agent James Parkin
Former Ukip election agent James Parkin