Lee Andersons election opponent is council leader facing 16 criminal charges

Lee Anderson calls for a cap on migration to the UK

Lee Anderson has questioned why his local council leader Jason Zadrozny has been chosen to stand against him at the next election when the Ashfield independent is facing criminal charges in court.

Zadrozny, the leader of Ashfield District Council in Nottinghamshire, announced last week that he will be standing at the next general election against Mr Anderson, who has become a cult hero in the Conservative Party for his straight talking.

But after standing in an election – expected to be May or October next year – Zadrozny, 43, will appear at Northampton Crown Court facing 12 charges of fraud and four of tax evasion.

Mr Anderson told Express.co.uk: “I welcome the challenge at the next General Election from the Ashfield Independents. However, their choice of candidate is a little bit bewildering.

“This will be his fourth attempt and with a Crown Court appearance due after the election where Cllr Zadrozny faces numerous serious charges you would’ve thought a different candidate would’ve been selected. I know of at least two other Ashfield Independents who are currently awaiting trial on other serious offences including attacking an emergency worker but surely there must be a more suitable candidate among their ranks.”

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Zadrozny’s case was moved from Nottingham and is due to be heard in February 2025, after the next election, with Zadrozny pleading not guilty to all the charges.

James Varley, prosecuting, told the court that the case could take a month.

He said: “There is a long list of witnesses to cross-examine, and I understand there may be defence witnesses as well.”

Zarodzny announced his candidacy last week when he was forced to apologise to Mr Anderson for calling him “as thick as mince”.

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He told a council meeting: “In apologising tonight – I announce my intention to stand against Mr Anderson in the next General Election – our communities in Ashfield deserve better.

“The people of Ashfield deserve somebody who delivers results… not delivers national ridicule and embarrassment.”

Mr Anderson, who has become a popular figure in the Conservatives and is deputy chairman of the party, expressed his surprise that the Ashfield Conservatives had chosen someone who is in the middle of legal proceedings to run against him.

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