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Winston McKenzie forced to drop out of London mayoral race

NOT A CONTENDER: Winston McKenzie

CONTROVERSIAL POLITICAL figure Winston McKenzie is no longer in the running to become the next Mayor of London after he missed the deadline to file his paperwork.

The nominations process for Mayor of London candidates opened on March 21 and closed at 4pm on March 31.

A statement from London Elects, the body responsible for managing the election, said that despite advising prospective candidates to make contact in good time for discussions, McKenzie only sat down with organisers hours away from the deadline.

“The English Democrats prospective candidate for Mayor of London, Winston McKenzie, met with London Elects for the first time at 13.45 on March 31 2016. At that time, the paperwork was incomplete. Mr McKenzie was given the opportunity to resolve matters by the 4pm legal deadline.

“Mr McKenzie and his agent did not submit all the paperwork by the 4pm deadline."

The statement continued: “Upon inspection, the incomplete forms contained errors which would have invalidated the nomination – in the form of duplicate signatures from other candidates’ nomination papers.

“Electoral law is explicit and the rules must be applied in all cases.”

The 62-year-old dismissed the signature duplicates on his application claiming he bore no responsibility and said he was "very upset” with himself for missing the deadline.

The blunder means the political chameleon’s latest party will no longer be fielding a candidate in the May election despite raising a reported £20,000 to fund his mayoral bid.

He said: "I'm very disappointed with London Elects, for the simple fact that once again it's bureaucracy that has won the day, not democracy. One of the voters - I think it was in the Dagenham area - she had already signed for someone else.

"You go out and bring in 330 signatures and wait four years for your opportunity, and because one signature [is duplicated] they say it's too late, there's no time to renew it and the whole form is spoiled. It's not my fault."

McKenzie said that his English Democrats party bosses were "very disappointed", adding: "This was the party's chance to get a flamboyant, vibrant, successful politician."

The former UKIP politician, who has been part of several parties before joining the English Democrats, ran as an Independent during the Mayor of London elections in 2008, but finished last in the polls.

The ex-boxer was a contestant in the Celebrity Big Brother house earlier this year to "raise publicity" for his campaign but the stunt was short lived after causing outrage for homophobic remarks.

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