The Independent has revealed today that the UKIP candidate for Manchester Central, Damien O'Connor, is a convicted criminal. Back in 2000, he narrowly escaped a prison sentence after being found guilty of a £9,000 housing benefit fraud.
That doesn't seem to worry the UKIP, though. "Mr O'Connor has been perfectly frank about his criminal record," the party said yesterday. "He's almost completed paid off the money relating to the offence, so we are happy to support his candidacy."
Source: The Independent, 23 February 2005