FORMER East Hampshire MP Michael Mates has avoided prosecution for alleged electoral fraud.
The 79-year-old, who lives near Chichester, denied claims he rented a flat in Winchester so he could take part in the contest become Hampshire’s crime commissioner.
The Crown Prosecution Service stated: ‘Having considered the reasons why Mr Mates was at the address provided, we have determined that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction in this case. However, in view of the likely penalty that would be imposed, his age, the fact that the election did not have to be re-run and that his culpability was relatively low, we do not consider that a prosecution would be in the public interest.’
Mr Mates said he was ‘perfectly happy’ to go to court as he believed he had done nothing wrong.