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

Monday, June 29, 2015
Protesters at an earlier anti-austerity demo in Berlin in March (Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Owen Jones, Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn and Green MP Caroline Lucas are all at a rally in Trafalgar Square to show solidarity with Greece this evening.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Police clashed with disabled protesters in the lobby of the House of Commons (Photo: Debbie Jolly/PA Wire)

Police have been accused of “heavy handed tactics” as they blocked disabled protesters, many in wheelchairs, from entering the House of Commons chamber during Prime Minister’s Questions today.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
(Hannah McKay/PA Wire)

In his latest YouTube video and in the wake of Saturday’s anti-austerity march, Russell Brand has called on people to ‘love the police’ and protest in the streets for better pay, better overtime and better pensions. This, he claims, is a new form of activism called ‘situationism’ which creates ‘spectacles which are provocative and interesting’. You can watch his Trews video below.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Anti-austerity protesters at the State Opening of Parliament (John Stillwell/PA Wire)

Tens of thousands of people from all over the country are expected to demonstrate in London for the People’s Assembly ‘End Austerity Now’ protest on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
(Zac Goldsmith running for Mayor. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Images)

Expelled Eton boy, environmentalist and Conservative rising star Zac Goldsmith has joined Sol Campbell in announcing he will run for the role of Mayor of London.

Monday, June 8, 2015
(Picture: Martin Rickett / PA Archive)

The star football player has told SunNation he will run for the role of London Mayor in 2016 and is “in it to win it”.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Read more
Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Read more
£100 worth of pet goodies up for grabs!

Animal lovers rejoice! It’s time to treat your pooch or spoil your kitty with a hamper worth £100 from Feedem.

Read more