Leicester

Judge to rule on Leicestershire councillor election win

Richard Blunt
Image caption Mr Blunt lives at Clifton Hall in Staffordshire

A judge is to decide if the leader of North West Leicestershire District Council has the right to hold his seat.

Tory councillor Richard Blunt is being challenged by the man who came second to him in the election for the Appleby ward in May.

Colin Roberts claimed Mr Blunt did not comply with Election Commission rules as he did not live, work or occupy property within his ward.

Mr Blunt said he was happy for the election court to decide.

The case against Mr Blunt, who won the election with 604 votes while Mr Roberts received 302, will be heard at an election court in Coalville in January.

'It's the principle'

In a statement, Mr Blunt said: "With an Election Commissioner now appointed, and the case sub judice, it would not be appropriate for me to comment any further at this time."

Mr Roberts, who stood as an independent candidate, said: "It's the principle really. I saw where he'd put down as his qualification and I thought that isn't right."

To be eligible to stand in a local election you have to live or work in the area or occupy property.

Mr Blunt lives at Clifton Hall in Staffordshire.

The councillor has always been open about the fact he does not live in the constituency he represents.

Mr Blunt grew up in Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire and his family owns 2,000 acres of land and dozens of properties.

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