Violinist Nigel Kennedy labelled a ‘disgrace’ after escaping prosecution over alleged voting fraud

Nigel Kennedy. Picture: PA/Fiona Hanson

Nigel Kennedy. Picture: PA/Fiona Hanson - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

Former Conservative parliamentary candidate Chris Philp has labelled violinist Nigel Kennedy a “disgrace” following news the musician will not face prosecution for getting a friend to vote for Labour’s Glenda Jackson using his wife’s voting card in the 2010 general election.

Former Conservative parliamentary candidate Chris Philp.

Former Conservative parliamentary candidate Chris Philp. - Credit: Archant

Police are unable to take action against Mr Kennedy, who lives in Belsize Park, as the alleged offence took place more than a year ago.

Officers will instead send an advisory letter to the musician explaining electoral rules and potential punishments for those who break them, which can include a two-year prison sentence.

Chris Philp, the Conservative parliamentary candidate who stood against Ms Jackson in the 2010 general election and reported Mr Kennedy to the police, said: “It’s very disappointing that the time limit means this blatant piece of election fraud is going to go unpunished. But I’m very pleased the Metropolitan Police took it seriously.

“Nigel Kennedy should be ashamed of himself, his behaviour is a disgrace.”

In an interview with The Guardian published last month, Mr Kennedy was asked if he voted in the last election when Ms Jackson won the Hampstead and Kilburn seat by just 42 votes.

He is reported as saying, “Oh yeah”, before adding, “In fact my wife wasn’t there, so I got another friend to go and vote for Jackson with my wife’s voting card”.

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Mr Kennedy was then asked, “Seriously?”, and he replied, “Yeah, yeah, man, and it was really worth it in that case”.

Voting as someone else without them applying for an officially sanctioned proxy vote is an offence under the Representation of the People Act 1983.

The maximum penalty is two years in prison and a fine.

Ms Jackson said: “At least it was investigated. I would hope it would act as a warning to anyone else who would think of doing anything like this in the future.”