A FORMER Ukip MP and a party campaigner have appeared in court charged with electoral fraud at last May’s council elections.

Dr Bob Spink, who served as MP for Castle Point for almost nine years until 2010, and James Parkin, 38, are charged with a total of 14 offences.

The pair appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court this morning to deny the allegations, which relate to nomination papers for candidates at last year’s vote in the Castle Point borough.

Dr Spink, 68, of Downer Road, Benfleet, faces five allegations that on or before April 5 he obtained the genuine signature of an elector for the purposes of nominating a candidate, despite the elector not knowing it was for that purpose.

Parkin, of Castle View Road, Canvey, faces the same five allegations in addition to four charges of supplying a false signature on nomination papers.

Dr Spink, wearing a black suit and blue and burgundy tie, shook his head as the charges were read out.

Both men indicated through their lawyer they deny the accusations and want the case to be heard by a crown court jury.

Both men were released on bail until the June 5 hearing.

Dr Spink was the Tory MP for Castle Point between 1992 and 1997, and won the seat again at the 2001 election.

He defected to Ukip in 2008, becoming the party’s first MP, but left later that year. He lost his seat in 2010 to Tory Rebecca Harris but later rejoined Ukip.

The Yorkshire-born politician also recently unsuccessfully stood for Ukip to become Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, losing out to Tory candidate Roger Hirst.

Parkin served as Ukip’s election agent and also stood in Castle Point’s Cedar Hall ward in May’s vote but was defeated by Tory candidate Liz Wass.