Would the real Derek Rowley please stand up!

The Tories have cheekily put up another candidate called Derek Rowley up against Labour cabinet member Derek Rowley in his Sandwell ward.

The voters of Great Bridge will now be faced with two Derek Rowleys, who both live in Tipton, on the ballot when they vote in the local elections on Thursday, May 3.

And as there are no other candidates in the race every voter will have to vote for Derek Rowley one way or another.

Labour Councillor Derek Rowley, Sandwell Council's cabinet member for neighbourhood services, is not amused with the Conservatives choice of candidate.

He said: “This is clearly a stunt by the Conservative party to subvert the democratic processes in Sandwell and Great Bridge ward.

“They just want to confuse the voters by putting someone with the same name as me on the ballot paper and anybody who doesn’t see what they are trying to do is a fool.”

He added: “The other Derek Rowley’s voting record shows he has not voted for ten years or stood as a candidate yet, so his involvement in local elections has been absolutely zilch, yet the Tories pick him to stand against me because he has the same name as me, it is a joke.”

Conservative candidate Derek Rowley, aged 70, was tight lipped about his candidacy when the News spoke to him today.

He said: “I don’t want to talk about this at the moment, you’ll have to speak to my agent about the election, I am just playing it by ear at the moment.”

However, he did agree that he’d lived in Tipton all his life and plenty of people know him as ‘the’ Derek Rowley.

Both Derek Rowleys are on the provisional list for the local elections which is due to be confirmed on April 10.

Leader of the Conservatives in Sandwell Councillor Ray Nock totally refuted the Labour accusations that his party was trying to confuse voters.

He said: “These accusations are total nonsense, our Derek, lives in the area and has been a member of our party for ages, and he went through the selection process brilliantly and is a good candidate. He added: “Our Derek is raring to go, you can’t not pick someone because of their name, even if it is Derek Rowley.”