A Conservative councillor has secured a controversial election victory in the Red Wall seat of Hartlepool.
Gordon Cranney, who represents the Conservatives in the Seaton Ward in the town, was elected as the Tories won a further two seats in the council, but fell short of an overall majority.
At the end of April, Cranney pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating at Teesside Magistrates’ Court, according to local reporting.
The court heard the offence, against a woman, took place on February 6th.
Cranney was given a 24-month community order and trold to attend a Building Better Relationships programme. He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £95 and costs of £85.
Offences “do not prevent the candidate from standing”
Denise McGuckin, the returning officer for Hartlepool elections, said: “I can confirm that I informed the president of the Hartlepool Conservative Party as soon as I became aware of this matter.
“Hartlepool Borough Council has also made enquiries of the public records held by the court and I can confirm that the offences do not prevent the candidate from standing for election and acting as a councillor.
“A person is disqualified if they have within five years before the day of election – or since their election – been convicted in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man of any offence and has had passed on them a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of not less than three months without the option of a fine.”
“Don’t punish us”
Ahead of Thursday’s local elections campaign literature spotted in Hartlepool moved to distance the party from issues affecting them at a national level.
One leaflet spotted in the town read: “This Thursday, please don’t punish local Conservatives for the mistakes made in Westminster, we are local and proud of where we live and, like you, we want the best for Hartlepool.”