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Newly elected Lincolnshire County Councillor Phil Dilks offers 'heartfelt apology'

A newly elected councillor has apologised after entering the home of a 79-year-old woman he had asked to sign his nomination papers.

Phil Dilks was voted in as an Independent member of Lincolnshire County Council for Deepings East last week.

Before embarking on his election campaign, he had asked a resident of the electoral division, Marylyn Black, to nominate him in to run for the council.

Coun Phil Dilks
Coun Phil Dilks

But after her name appeared alongside her late husband's in an election leaflet distributed in the Langtoft area, Mrs Black felt angry and upset, claiming Coun Dilks had not made his intentions clear.

Mrs Black's son, Alan, said: "As an elderly widow she had absolutely no idea what it was she was agreeing to," adding that Coun Dilks had phoned his mother and then turned up on her doorstep within 10 minutes of calling, which had left her feeling under pressure to invite him in.

Mr Black reported the breach of coronavirus rules to the police, although no further action was taken.

Responding to Mr Black's criticism, Coun Dilks said he felt he had known Mrs Black through her late husband's mutual connection with the Royal British Legion, adding: "When I decided to stand in the county council elections, I invited her to nominate me.

"I telephoned to ask if it was convenient to pop round and, when I arrived, Mrs Black warmly greeted me and invited me inside her home.

"We had both received covid vaccinations, However, I fully accept I should have declined her invitation and I have apologised unreservedly for not doing so."

Coun Dilks says he felt he had explained to Mrs Black that he was asking her to nominate him, and that he had mentioned this might appear in his election leaflet.

He also says he asked if she would like time to consider the request.

"I appreciate that Mr Alan Black was not aware his mother had nominated me until he read it in my leaflet," added Coun Dilks.

"He has since informed me his father told him ‘many times’ he could not stand me ‘or my politics’, so I can understand how he felt on learning that his mother had nominated me as a council candidate.

"I acted entirely in good faith and with the best of intentions, but once again I offer my heartfelt apology for any distress caused."

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