The Andover Alliance, the political party of Andover’s Town Mayor, has been deregistered following a stalemate over the status of its nominating officer.

The party was recorded as being deregistered by the Electoral Commission, the body that oversees elections in the UK, on Friday, November 6.

This means that at present, candidates from the party will be unable to use a description when standing for election except at a parish and community election level. As such, they are currently unable be able to use descriptions when standing for the borough council, and would have to stand as independents.

However, Councillor Richard Rowles has said that he has already submitted the paperwork for the party to be re-registered, saying that “there shouldn’t be any problems.”

At the time of the party being deregistered, its only two elected members were Cllr Richard Rowles and Cllr David Treadwell. Cllr Rowles sits on both the borough and town council, while Cllr Treadwell only sits on the latter.

The party had been locked in a stalemate over standing in elections since July last year, when Cllr David Coole was expelled from the party. However, he remained the Alliance’s nominating officer, who is responsible for allowing candidates to use the name and description of a party at an election.

This is because a nominating officer, under Electoral Commission protocol, can only be removed by an application signed by both the incoming and outgoing nominating officer. As such, Cllr Coole was still listed as the nominating officer by the commission at the time of the party being deregistered.

The deregistering of the party caps a tumultuous existence for the party, which was formed in March 2019. It won by a landslide in the following town council election, taking 15 of the 16 seats on the town council with a call to put “local people before national politics.”

However, by July of that year, Councillors Coole, Ecclestone and Meyer had been expelled from the party, with further losses to the party’s ranks following. Cllr Banville quit the party to become an independent in October 2019.

Though the party may be gone for now, it will soon be making a comeback. Cllr Rowles told the Advertiser that he had already put in application papers to bring the party back.

He said: “I’ve done the online application to reform it, but I had had to wait until the party was deregistered and then pay £150 to re-register it.”

He added that he was using the same documents as when the party was initially registered, so “there shouldn’t be any problems.”

“It’s quite a drawn out process because they have to go through your financial policy and constitution,” he said, “but I don’t think they’ll be having many political parties being registered at the moment so it hopefully won’t take too long.”