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Maidstone: Landlord Fergus Wilson disqualified from standing in Kent’s police and crime commissioner election

Fergus Wilson will not be able to run for the position of Kent’s police and crime commissioner following a review of his disqualification from the election.

The eccentric property tycoon was barred from running for the role after incorrectly filling in his application form and posting it, rather than delivering it by hand, to electoral returning officer Nadeem Aziz.

Tim Straker QC, for Dover District Council, argued Mr Wilson was “entirely the architect of his own misfortune,” at London’s High Court today.

Fergus Wilson
Fergus Wilson

He added the rules are there for a reason and Mr Aziz would run the risk of being accused of bias if he allowed exceptions here and there.

But Graeme Kirk, representing Mr Wilson, said an email sent to the Boughton Monchelsea resident 26 hours before the application deadline suggesting in no uncertain terms that he was out of the running was “substantially unfair and therefore an abuse of power” by Mr Aziz and his office.

He added Mr Aziz should have offered Mr Wilson an opportunity to remedy his errors and called on Mr Justice Cranston to order the reprinting of ballot papers or, if necessary, the rescheduling of the May 5 election.

The High Court in London
The High Court in London

Mr Justice Cranston retired for almost two hours before ruling in favour of Dover District Council.

The decision means the election will go ahead as scheduled next month with six candidates vying for the £85,000 a year job.

It is the end of the road for Mr Wilson, who had vowed to donate the substantial salary to charity if elected.

Mr Straker requested £25,000 in costs but the judge instead awarded £20,000 against Mr Wilson.

The candidates are Gurvinder Sandher (Ind), Tristan Osborne (Lab), Dave Naghi (Lib Dem), Matthew Scott (Con), Steve Uncles (Eng Dem) and Henry Bolton (Ukip).

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