A DORSET election candidate has described his decision to park across two disabled spaces while he collected political literature as ‘a moment of thoughtlessness which will never be repeated’.

Richard Drax, who is contesting his South Dorset seat was snapped at his campaign HQ at the Dorset Innovation Park near Wool two weeks ago.

“I popped in to get some literature and very thoughtlessly parked on those lines which I immediately regretted and apologise to the organisation straight away,” said Mr Drax. “I rushed in and rushed out. I’ve never done it before and never done it since but it was a real moment of thoughtlessness and it won’t happen again.”

The person who photographed the distinctive Land Rover said: “I watched him park over two disabled spaces.The car was driven and parked by Mr Drax in person.”

Ceri Smith, policy manager at disability equality charity Scope, said: “We need to put an end to this selfish behaviour.

“Disabled people often rely on their cars and need to be able to park a short distance from facilities and amenities

“People who illegitimately use a Blue Badge space need to realise that they risk depriving someone who genuinely needs it.”

Off-street parking on private land, such as the Dorset Innovation Park can be managed by private companies where the rules of Contract Law apply, says the Disabled Motoring organisation.

“When you park on private land managed by a private operator (e.g. shopping centres, cinemas, supermarkets etc.) it is important to check signage for terms and conditions of each car park; they can vary dramatically from car park to car park,” it says.

It’s not the first time the car of a prominent citizen has been caught on a disabled space.

In 2017 the Bournemouth mayoral car was in hot water after bystanders on Yelverton Road realised it was parked across a disabled bay.

The council explained that the mayor’s chauffeur had been unable to find a space whilst the mayor opened a bank.

He left the car for a few minutes with a note and its hazard warning lights on, to accompany the mayor, before moving the vehicle.