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Former police and crime commissioner charged over election papers

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Wiltshire’s former police and crime commissioner has been charged with making a false declaration in nomination papers prior to his election to the post.

Conservative candidate Jonathon Seed was elected to the role in May, but he later withdrew over a 30-year-old drink-driving conviction.

Thames Valley Police launched an investigation into the circumstances of the election and passed a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), who have now advised officers to charge Mr Seed.

Rosemary Ainslie, head of special crime at the CPS, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has today authorised police to charge Jonathon Seed with making a false declaration in the nomination papers for the Wiltshire 2020 police and crime commissioner elections.

“The charge relates to an allegation he made a false declaration that he was not disqualified from election as a police and crime commissioner.

“The CPS made the decision that he should be charged after reviewing a file of evidence from Thames Valley Police.

“The CPS reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against this defendant are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.

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“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice proceedings.”

Mr Seed, who is a Wiltshire councillor, is due to appear before Oxford Magistrates’ Court next month.

He had won a combined total of 47% of the police and crime commissioner vote in May.

A by-election was held for the post last month, and Conservative Philip Wilkinson was elected.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “As this matter is now subject to criminal proceedings it would not be appropriate for us to comment further.”