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  • Did Tesco breach electoral rules?

    by Rumbold
    21st May, 2008 at 7:47 pm    

    Regular Pickler ZinZin sent me this interesting article, on the possible breach of electoral rules by Everton football club and Tesco:

    “A DOSSIER has been handed to police claiming that Everton FC and Tesco may have illegally influenced the results of the recent local elections in Knowsley, the Daily Post can reveal. They could face prosecution over electoral offences once an investigation has been concluded by Merseyside Police.

    The dossier and complaint refer to a glossy leaflet and DVD circulated to every household in Kirkby at a cost of £22,000 during the final week of the recent local election campaign. The mail-out promoted the merits of the £400m Destination Kirkby development which includes a massive food store, new football stadium for Everton and shopping centre.

    Anti-stadium protesters formed the single issue party First4Kirkby party who vehemently opposed the planning application along with Lib-Dem candidates.
    Kirkby Residents Action Group now claims that the election campaign became, in effect, a single issue vote on the Tesco/Everton development which they claim will involve the demolition of local homes, the closure of a local school and the loss of community parkland.

    The substance of their case is that Tesco and Everton deliberately intervened into the political debate in an attempt to subvert the democratic process. The First4Kirkby group failed to win a seat with their three candidates, but did come within 16 votes of a win in one ward. RAG spokesperson the Rev Tim Stratford said: “There are strict legal rules stipulating how much candidates can spend on publicity during an election campaign, and these rules apply also to third parties whose material has the effect of promoting or disparaging particular candidates.

    “In a highly charged political environment, Everton and Tesco circulated expensive propaganda material on the eve of an election which clearly promoted the position adopted by the Labour Party and was obviously likely to influence the way that people voted. This is a blatant breach of Section 75 of The Representation of The People’s Act. Big companies should not be allowed to use their corporate muscle to influence the democratic process and aid the election of candidates who support their commercial objectives. This is cynical and illegal, and we trust that matter will now be properly investigated.”

    He refers to section 85(4) of the act that makes it clear that it does not matter whether the material names the candidates or party which it is intended to benefit or disparage.”

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    Filed in: Current affairs

    6 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. El Cid — on 21st May, 2008 at 8:20 pm  

      Interesting. I think you’ve got a valid point.

    2. Bartholomew — on 21st May, 2008 at 9:20 pm  

      Careful, Tesco might sue you.

    3. Don — on 21st May, 2008 at 10:08 pm  

      Just flexing their muscles before the big one.

    4. Don — on 21st May, 2008 at 10:10 pm  

      Damn. Broken link. Am I destined never to be smooth?

    5. Sunny — on 21st May, 2008 at 11:56 pm  

      Don - ha ha!

      Interesting… I think this will only increase - where business tries to interfere in politics for their own benefit.

    6. Rumbold — on 22nd May, 2008 at 7:44 pm  


      I had that in mind.

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