The Liberal Democrats have called on the Conservative party to foot the bill after its disbarred Police and Crime Commissioner candidate won the election.
Jonathan Seed, who won the PCC vote but cannot take up office becuase of a drink driving conviction from 1993.
He withdrew from the race after votes had been cast, meaning legally they had to be counted.
Liz Webster of the Lib Dems – who came second to Seed – has called on the Tory party to pay for the costs of a new election rather than the taxpayer.
A “Make the Tories Pay” petition has been launched in the aftermath of the election.
“It is the Conservatives fault for this botched election and they must pay the price. The taxpayers cannot foot the bill for their incompetence,” she said.
“You also have to ask the question as to when they knew that the candidate was ineligible to stand – if it was before last Thursday then why didn’t they say anything?
— Liz Webster 🔶 (@LizWebsterLD) May 12, 2021
“A cynic would think that this was kept quiet because it might damage them electorally.”
A re-election has been set for August 19, 2021, which could cost over £1m.
Since the PCC count on Monday, May 10 a police investigation has been launched into the circumstances surrounding the election.
Questions have been raised as to when the Conservatives knew about the conviction. Seed claimed he declared the three-decade-old offence and was told the crime did not disqualify him.
Liz continued: “We’ve had an enormous amount of people reaching out to us saying that they feel cheated and robbed and I hope this informs their decision the next time we all go to the ballot box in August.
“I am working with my team to prepare for another campaign but I am determined that the British taxpayer should not have to pay for this debacle.”