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

Friday, February 27, 2015
The Mayor with Nathan Bostock, Chief Executive of Santander (Photo by Steve Bardens/ Getty Images for Santander)

The Mayor of London took a new red Boris Bike out for a spin this morning as he announced Santander was taking over from Barclays as sponsor of the city’s cycle scheme.

Thursday, February 26, 2015
Sol Campbell has announced his intention to run for Mayor of London  (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

The former Arsenal, Spurs and England defender Sol Campbell has announced his intention to take over from Boris Johnson and become the next Mayor of London. But would he be any good?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Natalie Bennett spluttered and stalled her way through an interview with radio station LBC

Cringeworthy, incredibly awkward, car crash - all words you used to describe the Green Party leader Natalie Bennett’s radio interview with LBC this morning.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
[Photograph by @WolvoPingu]

Housing protesters have clashed with police officers as they held a ‘mock eviction’ at a fancy dinner for bailiffs where they say people were “receiving awards for making families homeless.”

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Boris Johnson meets Alexa Chung at a British Fashion Council event in New York (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Boris Johnson is to meet Hilary Clinton in New York today where he may have some diplomatic ground to make up following comments he made about her several years ago.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015
This is what you could have won...

A shoe-shopping trip with Home Secretary Theresa May was just one of the many highly-prized lots that Conservative party donors bid on at a secretive and exclusive fundraising dinner.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Wales might have won the game but, jeez, that band.

Read more

Beautiful Instagram pic and motivational comment. What’s not to love?

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

Take our quiz and find out!

A survey conducted last year revealed that Britain is the fourth sexiest country in the world, with the UK sex toy industry worth an estimated £250 million a year.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

The political editor will be taking time off for treatment.

It involves a picture of a hand. You can guess what shape it is making.

About 40 swans have died in the last year and local vet says she has never seen anything like this in her 30 years in practice.

Quirky London