The Conservative candidate to be Wiltshire’s next police and crime commissioner has been disbarred due to a historic drink-driving offence, the party has said — less than 24 hours before the result was due to be declared.
Jonathon Seed is widely expected to be elected as PCC for Wiltshire and Swindon when votes are counted on Monday.
A Conservative spokesperson said: “Due to a historic driving offence that has come to light, the candidate has been disbarred from becoming the police and crime commissioner.”
Mr Seed told BBC Radio Wiltshire he declared the 30-year-old offence to party officials before his candidacy.
It means he will be unable to take up the job even if he wins at Monday’s count.
But officials said the counting process would still go ahead.
Terence Herbert, returning officer for the Wiltshire and Swindon police and crime commissioner area, said: “Once a candidate’s nomination paper has been accepted by the returning officer, they are formally a candidate and their name must appear on the ballot paper.
“As the election was held on Thursday May 6, the ballot papers must be verified and counted and the result declared, in accordance with electoral law.
“The Wiltshire and Swindon police and crime commissioner election count will take place as planned on Monday May 10 at Five Rivers Health and Wellbeing Centre in Salisbury.”
Mr Seed, who is a Conservative councillor in Melksham, said: “To the best of my knowledge and belief when I applied for, and became the police and crime commissioner candidate for the Conservative Party in Wiltshire and Swindon, I was an eligible candidate.
“I have declared my 30-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 my belief that my offence did not disqualify me.
“I have now been advised that this is not the case, and that I am disqualified as a PCC candidate. I have therefore withdrawn.
“I am bitterly disappointed that I will not be able to take up the post if I were to be elected.”