Labour are forcing a byelection in Warwickshire on a technicality over last weeks county council elections. Tom Wilson was elected by a convincing margin as the County Councillor for the Arbury & Stockingford with 1637 votes. His colleague and wife, Sonja Wilson was also elected with 1582 votes. The two Labour candidates were defeated with 1472 and 1480 votes each.
The local Labour officer, Jeff Place, wrote to the Chief Returning Officer at Warwickshire County Council, Jim Graham, to “formally object to the candidature of Cllr Tom Wilson in the Arbury & Stockingford division”, based on a technical mistake Cllr Wilson made in completing his nomination papers.
The complaint centres on Cllr Wilson’s part time efforts as a chaperone, looking after vulnerable people on bus services operated by Warwickshire County Council. Cllr Wilson resigned as a chaperone on
7th May 2009 – the date nominations closed for the County Council elections. However, Cllr Wilson submitted his nomination papers on 5th May, while he was still technically employed part time by the
Cllr Tom Wilson, commented:
“Having controlled Arbury & Stockingford for so long, members of the Labour Party are desperate to remove the people’s choice of County Councillor by hook or by crook. People in Arbury & Stockingford voted for me by a substantial margin and their voices should be heard loud and clear above the debate about legal technicalities.”
As a result of the complaint, there will now be a by-election in Arbury & Stockingford, although a date has yet to be set. Local Conservatives have announced that Tom Wilson will be the party’s candidate in that election.