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Tories do not have to foot bill for election fraud case

February 24, 2010 3:45 PM
By Gareth McPherson in Windsor Express Online

The six-figure legal bill for bringing a Tory councillor to book for election fraud in Slough does not have to be footed by the Conservatives, the High Court has ruled.

Disgraced Eshaq Khan, of Oban Court, Montem Lane, was jailed for fraud last year after he used 'ghost votes' to oust long-standing Labour councillor Lydia Simmons from her Slough Borough Council seat in 2007.

His criminal conviction followed an election court hearing in January 2008.

Khan was ordered to pay the huge legal bill for the civil action, but could not cough up the full amount and was declared bankrupt.

Ms Simmons, the first black female mayor in the country, who has since retired from Slough politics, then went to the Conservatives to cover her legal costs.

But on Friday a top judge ruled at the High Court in London that neither the Conservative Party, nor the Slough Conservative Association, could be held liable for the bill, which stands at £215,775.

The Labour Party is now planning to lodge an appeal.