The Wirral Labour local election campaign team were out in force in New Brighton yesterday delivering the above leaflet…
Now I know we’re often told we should judge people by the company that they keep but we’ll put that consideration to one side as Tony seems a nice smiley chappy and was apparently former Head of Lifeguard Service.
So what’s the problem you might ask ?
There’s only one problem and that there’s no legal imprint showing name of agent, candidate or printer on the leaflet .
Again you might ask what’s the big deal?
Well for a start the Electoral Commission takes these things very seriously. Section 143 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 introduced a new requirement for all election material to bear the name and address of the printer, promoter and the name and address of any person on behalf of whom material is being published (and who is not the promoter). A candidate or election agent contravening this provision is guilty of an illegal practice.
The Electoral Commission explains the purpose of the imprint requirements in Section 4.33 of its guidance for candidates and agents :
The intention of imprint requirements is to enable anyone to trace the person responsible for the material , for example in case of any complaint or query about its content .There is no requirement for an imprint address to be a home address , as long as it is somewhere the person can be contacted . It could for example, be an office address.
The Wallasey Labour Party email address on the leaflet will not suffice for this purpose as Section 4.34 states:
An email address is not acceptable as an imprint address because it is not a physical address, and it is possible to create one using false or fictitious details
The Commission stresses in its guidance that the consequences of a breach of the requirements are serious and advises that if it is believed that an offence relating to imprints has been committed this should be brought to the attention of the police. If the promoter of the material or any other person by whom the material is so published or the printer of the document commits an offence, they are liable to a fine of up to £5,000.
As a prospective councillor we’re not trying not to be too critical of Tony Jones himself here but we do question the experienced politicians who are supposed to be supporting him. Unfortunately some of these amateurs currently run and want to continue to run the council.
Mr. Jones – clearly already familiar with Wirral Council lingo- offered up in his leaflet “My 6 Pledges for New Brighton ” which includes at Number 1 :
1. I will run a positive election campaign
Perhaps he should have started with ” I will run a legal campaign”.
We understand that the matter has been reported to Wirral Council’s Returning Officer Eric Robinson . We should now expect him to report the matter to Merseyside Police or as our source writes : “Or maybe not……..”
However we ‘d advise our readers to stay tuned to Wirral Leaks for further progress on this matter and particularly about the roles and responsibilities of the Returning Officer which we think will be of particular interest !.