Registered sex offender bidding to become Hartlepool's next MP is told to 'clear off'
A by-election candidate who has suddenly confirmed that he is a registered sex offender has been told to “clear off” by a rival candidate.
Christopher Killick, an independent candidate in the battle to become Hartlepool’s next MP, has admitted he was convicted last year of voyeurism.
Yet the former shop assistant, who is 41, told the Mail after confirming that he has to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register: "I'm here, I've been sentenced in court, I'm not barred.
"I do want to emphasise that I am actually here to campaign politically. My goal is purely to help this country.
"It was inevitable it would come out so I'm just playing it as it comes really, I don't know how it's going to pan out.
"The question is now, whether I'll be accepted."
But one of his 15 rivals in the poll on Thursday, May 6, has told him to “clear off”.
Ralph Ward-Jackson, an independent candidate who is the descendant of the famous Hartlepool politician of the same name, said: "He can’t come off the ballot paper now but I think he should leave town.
"I think he should clear off and forget about it.
“It was a serious offence he was convicted of.
“I don’t particularly like the idea of him going around canvassing or whatever, talking to members of the public who may not know who he is or his background.
"I'd prefer it if he left town, I wouldn’t want him to have any more publicity than he’s already had, it would be better if he just cleared off frankly."
Killick was fined, ordered to pay his victim compensation and placed on a community order by London magistrates.
Current law, however, mainly bans people from standing for Parliament if they have been previously locked up for more than a year.
Convictions linked to electoral offences or political donations also act as disqualifications.
Killick, who recently moved to Hartlepool, has expressed his remorse, adding: "It was a complete regret and a big mistake. I've always maintained that it was a big mistake and I want to say I’m sorry.
"It's all a learning experience.
"Although I didn't talk about the offence on my election leaflet, I'm not trying to hide what happened."
He told the Mail in an earlier interview that his election aims were “to improve political discourse, trust and participation”.
Killick now claims he would have disclosed the conviction after distributing his election leaflets.
He said he considered waiting to stand as an MP until September 2025 when he would be no longer on the Sex Offenders' Register.
But he added: "Perhaps I would have gotten a better response. But I don't know where I'd be in four and a half years, so I thought I might as well do it now."
Killick, who recently moved to Hartlepool, confirmed he had not declared the conviction on any election forms and did not tell anyone who nominated him.
He said: "There's nothing barring me, if I'd been to prison then I wouldn't have been able to stand.
"I would have told them if it had come up or if I had been asked, I told them my name.
"I decided not to mention it to them to make it simpler or easier for me."