Upwell councillor steps down ahead of election fraud hearing before magistrates: by election date announced

PUBLISHED: 12:32 07 November 2019

David Pope,King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council, He has resigned ahead of an election fraud hearing. Picture; ARCHANT

David Pope,King's Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council, He has resigned ahead of an election fraud hearing. Picture; ARCHANT

A by election will take place in Upwell on the day of the general election following the decision by a serving councillor to resign after being charged with election fraud.

West Norfolk councillor David Pope is due before magistrates on November 14 but has resigned his seat on King's Lynn & West Norfolk Council.

The council gave notice of the by election today and if candidates have until November November 15 to put their names forward.

A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: "I can confirm we are investigating a case against David Pope, of allocations of false signatures on nomination papers for the May 2019 elections.

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"Pope is due to appear at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court on November 14. As this is an active case, we are unable to give further details of the investigation."

Pope, who stood as an Independent, won the Upwell and Delph ward with 758 votes at the May election.

Next were Independent Colin Rose, with 589 votes, Conservative Bill Smith (463) and Conservative Matt Gingell (425).

For the previous 17 years, he had represented the Conservative Party.

Currently, the Conservatives hold the balance of power by one seat. They have 28 councillors, while the Independents, Labour, Green, Lib Dems have 26, while there is currently one independent who is not a member of the Independent group.

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