Kent PCC election – the next few days.

Nominations for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections close at 4pm this Thursday (April 7th). The Police Area Returning Officer will publish a Statement of Persons Nominated shortly afterwards: for Kent the Statutory Notices are being posted here. At the latest this must be published by 4pm on Friday.

Within the next few days, therefore, we will know for certain who the candidates for Kent PCC are: it is quite possible that one or more of the declared candidates will choose not to stand, or a candidate’s nomination papers may be rejected. This isn’t all that unusual: the English Democrats’ candidate for London Mayor, Winston McKenzie¬†had his nomination rejected because of a defect with his paperwork. Equally, there may be candidates we don’t yet know of.

However – and this is important – the Returning Officer can only reject a nomination (and other candidates can only object) on certain, limited grounds: see the Electoral Commission’s guidance on the process. For example, Winston McKenzie’s nomination was rejected because some signatures were duplicated. These grounds are things the Returning Officer can be expected to tell from the paperwork in front of him. A candidate’s criminal convictions are not among those things. If a candidate is under a disqualification, it has to be dealt with under a separate judicial process.

So, whatever a certain candidate may tell you at the end of this week, the fact that his nomination has been accepted, and his name appears on the ballot paper, does not mean that he is not disqualified. If he chooses to stand, he will have to face the legal consequences later.

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