Labour Break the Law Big Stylee…

While this strikes me as all being a bit petty and childish, it is very amusing…

Tom Watson, Labour blogger and MP, is running the Ealing Southall By-Election campaign for the Labour Party. Later on this evening, he’ll be forced to make a very humiliating apology for this blog entry. He wrote…

There is no Tony Lit [the Conservative candidate] registered to vote in Chiswick. I know he only joined the Conservatives last week but running a candidate who isn’t registered to vote strikes me as just peculiar.

Joan Ryan MP, the ex Home Office minister and now vice chair of the Labour Party wrote to George Osborne earlier today alleging the same thing – that the Conservative Candidate is not on any electoral register. In her letter, she said…

How can Tony Lit credibly ask anyone in Ealing Southall to vote for him when he has not bothered to register to vote himself? Can you please tell me when Tony Lit intends to register to vote? When local residents in Ealing Southall realise that the Tony who wants their vote does not have a vote of his own they too will soon be asking – Who is Tony Lit? I would welcome a speedy response to my questions. As this is a matter of major public interesy, I am releasing this letter to the media.

Sadly for Ms Ryan and Tom Watson they haven’t done their homework. In fact Tony Lit is on the register under his full family name (Labour recently changed the rules so that you can stand under your common name). He has voted in every election since he was 18. Tory by-election supremo Grant Shapps has now written a stinging resposte to Joan Ryan (who was axed from her Home Office job last week) pointing out that it is in fact illegal to publish false statements about candidates under electoral law.

Dear Joan,
I’m writing in response to your letter to George Osborne with reference to our candidate in the Ealing Southall by-election. In your letter you claim that Mr Lit is not on the electoral register.You are wrong. Tony’s full name is Surinderpal Singh Lit. He has voted in every single general election since he was 18 years of age. As you will be aware, it is an illegal practice under electoral law to publish a false statement regarding a candidate, and now that you’ve been made aware of your error, please confirm that you will now issue a public apology for mistakenly inferring that our candidate is not on the electoral register. I will of course be releasing this letter to the media.

Grant Shapps MP

So it looks as if Labour has committed a bit of a clanger here. Let’s see how long it takes Tom Watson to delete his blog entry or apologise. If I were Grant Shapps and I didn’t get an apology, I might well be speaking to M’Learned Friend in the morning.

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