BRIAN Spencer, a former Liberal Democrat leader of St Helens Council, appeared in court this morning to deny assaulting two Labour party members at May’s local election count.

The 65-year-old from Sutton stood in the dock at Bootle Magistrates’ Court accused of assaulting Labour’s candidate for Eccleston, Mark Johnson, and his mother Janet, a serving Labour councillor in Sutton.

Spencer faces allegations he committed two counts of common assault while election results were being delivered in the St Helens Town Hall assembly room, shortly after midnight on Friday, May 4.

Wearing a dark suit, he entered not guilty to both charges.

He was granted unconditional bail to appear back at the court in a fortnight when a trial date will be set.

Mr Spencer, who led St Helens Council under a power sharing agreement with the Tories until Labour wrestled back control two years ago, was interviewed under police caution following the incident in May.

He was not arrested or formally charged, however, he was sent a written summons ordering him to appear before the court. Spencer lost his Sutton seat at the elections.