London election fraud probe over ‘fake leaflets’

14:11 13 May 2012

Archant

Claims of election fraud in south-west London are being probed by police.

Fake election leaflets purportedly from a Liberal Democrat candidate were distributed one night before a council by-election in Richmond Upon Thames, on May 4.

The flyers, featuring the logo and font of the Lib Dems, reportedly featured changed content - including an endorsement by candidate Jane Dodds for a controversial local planning scheme.

Lib Dems claimed that fake leaflets pledged Ms Dodds’ support for a development to be used for housing homeless immigrants, or to become a high-rise block.

The Liberal Democrats went on to lose a closely fought contest for the fringe seat. The Conservatives held the ward they won by 14 votes in 2010.

The content of the flyers undermined her campaign and may have influenced the final result of the poll, said the leader of the Liberal Democrats group.

“They were clearly designed to defect support from our candidate by purporting to back things which were unpopular,” Stephen Knight said.

“The result was close, it may have gone the other way if this had not happened.”

The Conservatives won the poll by only 146 votes.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said officers were looking into the claims. He said: “The Metropolitan Police Service is aware of an allegation of a breach of election legislation in Richmond.

“We are currently making an assessment to ascertain whether there is evidence to support the complaint.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
A naval vessel outside the ExCeL exhibition centre at an earlier Defence and Security Exhibition in 2011.  Other exhibits included an F16 fighter jet (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

One of the world’s biggest arms fairs is coming to the ExCel centre in east London later this month, and more than 1,000 protestors are already planning to oppose it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
The eponymous craft beer is not always brewed in the capital (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

If there’s two things London foodies are obsessed with, it’s craft beer and local products, so it’s a surprise to learn that a drink that is named after London and boasts of being “the quintessential English lager” is sometimes brewed in Europe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
How should the next generation of Boris bikes look? (Photo by Steve Bardens/ Getty Images for Santander)

Santander Boris bikes as we know them could be a thing of the past after TfL issued a tender for their redesign.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
New Fathers 4 Justice campaigners altered this local council anti- domestic violence poster in Greenwich Station (Picture: New Fathers 4 Justice)

An anti-domestic violence poster has angered fathers campaign groups and today two activists were ‘removed’ by police from a south-east London train station for defacing the council missive.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Paddy Power reckon it's a dead cert for Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn (Lauren Hurley/PA Wire)

Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in the Labour leadership race is a “done deal” according to one bookmaker which has already started paying out on bets.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Computer class

New figures show, in the face of growing youth unemployment, vacancies for digital jobs is set to widen in the next year.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Read more
Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more