Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has defended listing an address on his nomination form as his “home”, despite never actually stepping foot inside the property.
When challenged by Channel 4 News’ Michael Crick about the Oxford Street address listed, the Ukip candidate said he “will be” living there, even though he was not at the time he submitted the form.
Nuttall is standing in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election later this month, challenging a seat previously held by Labour’s Tristram Hunt, who stood down in January to take a position at the V&A Museum in London.
Electoral Commission rules state that a candidate’s “full home address must, by law, be included on the nomination form”.
Nuttall admitted he had not been to the address in Oxford Street.
When Crick pointed out that candidates are meant to put their home on their nomination form, Nuttall replied: “It will be for the rest of the campaign.”
The 40-year-old denied accusations that the house is empty, saying “people are in it now”.
Crick said: “The law says that when you sign the nomination form, you’re meant to put down your home at the time of the nomination.
“That wasn’t your home. Your home as far as I’m aware is Bootle or somewhere.”
Nuttall said he did live in Bootle, but when it was put to him that he had written the wrong address on his nomination form, Nuttall responded: “No I haven’t. I’ll be in there and be there for the rest of the campaign.”
Electoral Commission rules state: “The candidate’s full home address must, by law, be included on the nomination form. You should advise candidates that business addresses are not legally permitted.
“If any detail of the home address is wrong or omitted, the nomination is not automatically invalid if the description of the place is such as to be commonly understood.”
Ukip said Nuttall was in the process of moving into the property.
Ukip finished second in the battle for the Stoke seat in the 2015 General Election.
The party finished just 5,179 votes behind Labour and Ukip figures believe a focused operation in the area could deliver a victory.
It has been estimated that 70% of voters in Stoke-on-Trent Central backed Leave in last year’s EU referendum, despite Hunt campaigning for Remain.