Bob Neill, Tory candidate for tomorrow’s by-election in Bromley and Chislehurst after the death of Eric Forth last month, hasn’t had an easy campaign. He seems to be getting into lots of legal problems for a lawyer.
Firstly he misused the House of Commons crest, using House of Commons headed stationary to threaten legal action against the UKIP.
Next he got into trouble with FIFA for infringing their image rights after using an image of the world cup on a poster.
Now it looks as if he might even be ineligible to stand.
The problem is that Bob is member of the north-east London strategic health authority. Under the House of Commons' Disqualification Act 1975, membership of such an authority is one of dozens of posts that MPs are not allowed to hold. However, Mr Neill said the disqualification provisions were not relevant because the health authority was due to be abolished on Friday, a day after the by-election. Nevertheless, Neill signed a declaration on his nomination form stating that he was not in breach of the House of Commons Disqualification Act of 1975 at the time of nomination.
Nigel Farage, the UKIP candidate, accused him of "inexcusable arrogance" and the Lib Dems have accused him of being unfit to represent the seat, dubbing him "three jobs Bob" because of his health authority role, his job as a part-time barrister and his decision to retain his position in the London Assembly.
According to the Telegraph,
A spokesman for the Electoral Commission said that only the death of a monarch could halt a by-election once it had been called.
We expect that the Liberal Democrats probably won’t go that far.
Aside from Bob Neill, other candidates haven't had an easy ride either. The Bromley Times received claims that independent candidate, John Hemming-Clark was in an adult movie called 'The Pieman,'. Mr. Hemming Clark dismissed this as "nonsense."