A killjoy council has banned a local from standing in the upcoming General Election - as Father Christmas.

West Berkshire Council have told heating engineer Dave Yates that he is not allowed to stand as 'Santa Claus' on the December 12 election - because it would be confusing.

The ‘Grinches’ at West Berkshire Council prevented 58-year-old Dave from standing as Santa Claus as they said it would “confuse and mislead voters” in his constituency of Newbury.

White-haired Dave, who also sports a bushy beard, says that he looks so much like Santa that it would not be confusing.

But council chief executive Nick Carter told him that ‘Santa Claus’ would not be on the ballot paper.

Dave said he is contesting the decision and, if successful, it could force a remarkable by-election in Newbury in February.

During the last election, he gathered around 300 votes while standing as himself for his own Apolitical Party, and has now appealed to a local paper to champion his cause.

He said: “How sad that the one name that means so much to many people at this time of year will be missing from the top of the ballot paper.

“Santa Claus, the prospective parliamentary candidate for the Apolitical Party in Newbury was denied his democratic right and refused entry in this year’s election.

“Santa’s nomination, despite being correct and in full compliance with electoral law, was rejected by Nick ‘the Grinch’ Carter, at the council offices in Market Street on Thursday.

“Santa was hoping to stand in this election on a message of peace and goodwill to all.

"But more importantly a warning to voters to be very careful when choosing our next MP, that we fully understand the implications of a potentially huge spike in borrowing to pay for all the ‘giveaways’ being promised by all parties in this general election and the possible catastrophic effect it could have on our grandchildren.”

The council confirmed the odd request.

A spokesperson said: “Yes, David Yates did seek to stand as Santa Claus.

“Candidates can use a name that they are commonly known by which is usually an abbreviation of their full name, eg Tom.

“As Mr Yates is not commonly known as Santa Claus, it was deemed to be both confusing and misleading.

“Judgements need to be made when considering all nominations and decisions taken as to whether the use of the particular name would confuse or mislead the electors within the constituency.”

Heating engineer Dave, who dresses as Father Christmas at a handful of places ever festive season, reckons enough people know him as Santa Claus, and is hoping to be victorious in his appeal.

He added: “I first stood in a general election in 2010. I had formed my own party - Apolitical Democrats - trying to get away from the dogma of party politics, which was driving me mad.

“I’m just trying to make a statement that we need to get away from from party politics as we have known it for the last 50 years or so.

“I have a bee in my bonnet about the banks and our currency.

“Rather than us borrowing money from the banks, we should be creating our own wealth as a government and giving it to the banks to lend out and not the other way around.

“The fact that it was a Christmas election was just too good of an opportunity to be missed - I had already been growing the beard.

“My family think it’s par for the course, they are used to it by now.

“Lord Buckethead and Count Binface are allowed to stand, so why not Santa Claus? It’s one rule for them and another rule for everyone else.

"I know I was never in a million years going to win, but it would have given people another choice.

“I think a lot of people are so sick and tired they won’t bother voting.

“That only plays into the big parties hands – and that saddens me.

“I’m sure I would have got more than the 304 votes I got last time.

“The council should have written to me to tell me I wasn’t able to stand.

"I filled all the forms out correctly and am being denied the chance to stand in the election.

“I have spoken with lawyers and I am going to contest the decision.

"It’s too late for me to stand now as nominations have closed, but who knows, it could force a by-election in February."