EXCL: Paul Nuttall's hustings stand-in also had a spot of bother over his address
Paul Nuttall was replaced at a by-election hustings by a Ukip colleague who has also been embroiled in a bogus address row, PoliticsHome can reveal.
The Ukip leader has come under fire after suggestions that he had registered his address at a house in Stoke that was actually empty. Police announced last week they were looking into whether there had been a possible breach of election rules, though Nuttall maintained there was nothing untoward and he was "in the process of moving in".
A party spokesman explained that he was unable to attend today's hustings at a local sixth form college because of a diary clash that meant he had to be in London. He insisted this would be the only hustings the MEP would be missing during the whole campaign.
Lib Dem Zulfiqar Ali also sat this one out, leaving Labour's Gareth Snell and Tory Jack Brereton as the only candidates at the event.
But rather than leaving Nuttall's chair empty, Ukip turned to London Assembly member David Kurten, who like his party leader has had his share of address-related trouble in the past.
Ahead of last year's Assembly elections he sent an email to Ukip colleagues, effectively asking to borrow an address so he could stand.
He wrote: “I need to be on the electoral register in Greater London for the Assembly elections. Currently I’m living in Surrey at the campus of the school I work with, so I need to move or find someone who would let me register at their address until I move into London.”
Kurten later explained he had sent the fact-finding email "to find out if I can meet the eligibility criteria while still renting the accommodation I have at the campus" - to which the answer was apparently an emphatic 'no'.
Labour certainly saw the funny side, with a party inside telling PoliticsHome: "“It’s fitting that when Paul Nuttall couldn’t attend hustings today he sent in his place David Kurten, a London-based politician and Westminster wannabe.
"In fact, just like his boss, Kurten has been accused in the past of attempting to register at a false address in a vain attempt to dupe punters into thinking he was a local candidate."