United Kingdom

Tory favourite to be elected Wiltshire police commissioner DISBARRED before even starting the job

A Tory candidate for a police and crime commissioner seat has been 'disbarred' from taking up the position - even if he wins - because of a 30-year-old drink-driving conviction.

Jonathon Seed was the front runner to become the next Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) role when votes are counted on Monday.

But Tory HQ has now revealed that Mr Seed will not be eligible to take up the position - because he has an old drink-driving conviction. 

Mr Seed told the BBC the conviction is more than three decades old and that the party had informed him that he was still eligible to run as a PCC.

In a statement to MailOnline, a 'bitterly disappointed' Mr Seed said: 'To the best of my knowledge and belief when I applied to and became the PCC candidate I was eligible.

'I have declared my thirty-year-old driving conviction to the Party in my applications both to be a Parliamentary candidate and more recently a PCC candidate.

'Party officials confirmed by belief that my offence did not disqualify me.'

He added: 'I have now been advised that I am disqualified as a PCC candidate and I have therefore withdraw.' 

Anyone with a conviction for an imprisonable criminal offence is disqualified from becoming a police and crime commissioner under UK law. 

It means if Mr Seed does win the seat, a new election will have to be held. 

Mr Seed, a local Tory councillor, added: 'I will continue with my work as a local councillor and within the local community, to which I have dedicated my life for the past 20 years.'

Mr Seed ran against Liz Webster (Liberal Democrat), Junab Ali (Labour), Mike Rees (Independent) Brig Oubridge (Green) and Julian Malins QC (Reform UK) in Thursday's election.

The candidates were all vying to replace Conservative PCC Angus Macpherson - who did not stand for re-election.

Though votes were submitted on Thursday, counting for the Wiltshire PCC seat is not due to take place until Monday.

According to a 2012 article in the Salisbury Journal, Mr Seed, a former hunt master, was previously charged with breaching the Hunting Act 2004

A Conservative spokesperson told MailOnline: 'Due to a historic driving offence that has come to light, the candidate has been disbarred from becoming the Police and Crime Commissioner.' 

According to a 2012 article in the Salisbury Journal, Mr Seed, a former hunt master, was previously charged with breaching the Hunting Act 2004.

The case, a private prosecution by the RSPCA, was later dropped due to a lack of evidence. 

Mr Seed always maintained his innocence and described the proceedings at the time as 'an abuse of the private prosecution system'. 

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