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Property mogul Fergus Wilson cannot hold post of police and crime commissioner

By Ed McConnell

A former professional boxer who intends to fight for the role of police and crime commissioner is not eligible to hold the post, it has emerged.

Eccentric property mogul Fergus Wilson announced his intentions to vye for Ann Barnes’ job in May’s election earlier this year and has since set out a number of ambitious policies for the county.

These include solving Operation Stack by stopping lorries leaving the M25 in the event of disruption at Dover and returning illegal immigrants to France the day after they arrive in Kent.

Millionaire property tycoon Fergus Wilson
Millionaire property tycoon Fergus Wilson

However, under recently published guidelines by The Electoral Commission a person cannot hold the post of PCC if they have at any time been convicted of an imprisonable offence, regardless of whether or not they went to prison for it.

In April last year the 67-year-old millionaire of Boughton Monchelsea was found guilty of punching estate agent Daniel Wells, 31, in a row over a tenant’s boiler. Assault by beating carries a maximum sentence of six months in custody.

During an eight-hour trial he claimed he had not punched Mr Wells but admitted going to the Folkestone office of agent Property Lettings and Sales (PLS) and swearing at him, claiming the victim had fallen off his swivel chair.

The 22-stone former maths teacher, who has recently launched an anti-domestic violence campaign, unsuccessfully appealed the conviction but says he is seeking a judicial review of the case based on Kent Police’s investigation.

Mr Wilson, who pulled out of the 2012 election citing mounting cuts to policing, said the charge was inconsistent considering many people do not get arrested for similar offences, quoting the case of Jeremy Clarkson, adding it is also inconsistent that different elections have different criteria for who can stand.

Crime commissioner Ann Barnes and Kent Police to recruit £75,000 communications chief
Crime commissioner Ann Barnes and Kent Police to recruit £75,000 communications chief

He said: “I could be elected Prime Minister after what happened, the criteria is inconsistent with other elections.

“I’m still going to stand. I will be paying the fee to do so at some point and am very hopeful the conviction will be quashed.”

A spokesman for The Electoral Commission said it cannot stop people from standing in elections and it is down to individual candidates to assess whether they are eligible to hold a post.

She added once an election is underway it cannot be stopped and only after the outcome can someone complain that a candidate is not fit for the role, at which point legal action is possible.

Applications to stand must be submitted to The Electoral Commission by 4pm on Thursday, April 7.

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