Labour Election Candidate Convicted Of Fraud

A Labour candidate in Northamptonshire in the General Election has been suspended after being found guilty of fraud.

Richard Garvie (pictured - from VoteGarvie.Com), 30, was convicted at Wellingborough Magistrates' Court after he paid for almost £900 of train tickets using a bank account he knew contained insufficient funds.

The would-be MP for Wellingborough said he intended to appeal against the verdict and was ``quite confident that the paperwork will show that I have not done anything wrong''.

But he conceded that he had been wrong not to inform the party when he was charged with the offence shortly before Christmas and accepted the disciplinary action.

"I do not suppose there is any other outcome really, pending the full facts becoming known, I can't dispute the decision'' he told The Press Association.

In the immediate wake of the verdict, he had called on the party to "see the good work I've done over the last 18 months. We are in a good position to win the seat. Hopefully they will stick with me" he said.

But a party spokesman indicated that it had dropped him.

"Richard Garvie has been suspended from the Labour Party"' he said.

The seat was won by Conservative Peter Bone - who is seeking re-election - with a majority of more than 11,000 over Labour in 2010.

It would require a swing of more than 11% to Labour to remove him.

"We all have things in our personal lives. This goes back a number of years. This is not something of me as the candidate," Mr Garvie - who describes himself as a full-time candidate - said.

The hopeful - whose name will remain on the ballot paper as the Labour candidate - admitted some voters might reconsider their support.

"I do not think it necessarily impairs my ability to be a member of parliament, I'm sure some voters will look at the situation and think whether I deserve their vote."

Mr Garvie admits knowing he did not have the funds to pay for the 17 rail ticket transactions but said he was in "such a difficult financial position" and expected his bank to honour the purchases and chase him for repayment.

"I was in a bit of a desperate situation and I tried to pick and choose what bills I paid. That's not the way anyone should conduct their life."

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