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Labour Minister Phil Woollas Guilty Of Illegal Practices

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11699888

Two High Court judges have ordered a re-run of this year's General Election campaign in the Greater Manchester constituency of ex-immigration minister Phil Woolas.

Mr Woolas won the Oldham East and Saddleworth seat by 103 votes over Liberal Democrat rival Elwyn Watkins.

But he has been found guilty of knowingly making false statements about Mr Watkins in campaign literature.

Mr Watkins said this could have swayed the result.

A specially-convened election court - the first of its kind for 99 years - was set up in Saddleworth in September to hear the charges against Mr Woolas.

Mr Woolas was accused of stirrng up racial tensions in his campaign leaflets by suggesting Mr Watkins had pandered to Muslim militants, and had refused to condemn death threats Mr Woolas said he had received from such groups.

Mr Woolas ran a "risky" campaign, the court was told, designed to "galvanise the white Sun vote" because he feared he faced defeat on poling day.

The former minister was also accused of making a false statement that Mr Watkins had reneged on a promise to live within the constituency prior to the election.

Illegal practices

Declaring the May poll result void, Mr Justice Nigel Teare and Mr Justice Griffith Williams said Mr Woolas was guilty of illegal practices under election law.

They said he knew all three claims to be untrue, and had sought personal advantage by making them.

Former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer said: "It is an unprecedented event. It is likely to have ramifications - if there is no appeal - for how people conduct elections in the future."

The case was brought under Section 106 of the Representation of the People Act.

This makes it an offence to publish "any false statement of fact in relation to the candidate's personal character or conduct" to prevent them being elected - unless they believed it was true and had "reasonable grounds" to do so

Labour Minister guilty of illegal practices under election law.

Will this merit elevation to the House of Lords?

:ph34r:

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This makes it an offence to publish "any false statement of fact in relation to the candidate's personal character or conduct" to prevent them being elected - unless they believed it was true and had "reasonable grounds" to do so

Might as well have another General Election right now, if that's the way the law is going to be interpreted.

There isn't going to be a single MP from any party that's completely clean... :blink:

B

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He will be barred from standing at any election for 3 years as well, including the by-election as well I think. Great person to have in the shadow cabinet.

Will be interesting who Labour put in his place and who stands / what the result is. Tactitcal voting with Conservatives?

Edited by mattyfc

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Shadow immigration minister Woolas was accused of stirrng up racial tensions in his campaign leaflets by suggesting Mr Watkins had pandered to Muslim militants, and had refused to condemn death threats Mr Woolas said he had received from such groups.

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At least he didn't make election promises that he broke when elected. Good job this is not an illegal practice under election law.

I suspect that when the Lib Dem's decided to start this legal process, they had no idea how unpopular they were about to become! Their voter base will have melted away come the by-election, and rightly so.

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mod edit quote removed

Baroness Scotland too? Illegal immigrant hirer and all that.

We are awash with banksters, thieves, blaggards and cutpurses. Probably have a government that reflects the population quite accurately.

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It's possible she'll be doing some jail time. Patience.

Guido reported earlier on an FOI request - she hasn't repaid a single penny, and presumably has no intention of ever doing so.

Any attempts to bring her to justice will be met with angry screams of RACIST and will never come to anything

They'll win, even when they're caught bang to rights

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back OT..

Having had dealings with Woolas I can confirm he is a gutless sh*t of the highest order, not quite in the Balls league, but then, who is.

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I suspect that when the Lib Dem's decided to start this legal process, they had no idea how unpopular they were about to become! Their voter base will have melted away come the by-election, and rightly so.

Woolas is a joke and a crap minister aside from this ...but your right ..the liberals are stuffed ....I wonder if labour will go local or parachute ?

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I suspect that when the Lib Dem's decided to start this legal process, they had no idea how unpopular they were about to become! Their voter base will have melted away come the by-election, and rightly so.

Why rightly so? If you're a LibDem voter anyway nothing that Labour nor the Conservatives have done should make them any more appealing. If it's this "selling out" thing then that's just bizarre. LibDem voters would rather just rant from the sidelines than be able to get a little say in power, even if it means having to go along with some stuff that they'd prefer not to?

You're probably right to be honest, but if those are the reasons for voters turning away from them then unfortunately it doesn't say much about the mental abilities of those voters.

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back OT..

Having had dealings with Woolas I can confirm he is a gutless sh*t of the highest order, not quite in the Balls league, but then, who is.

Good to hear as he always comes across as a chops,y gobby little tu*d on the telly.

I reckon it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

FU*K OFF PHIL.:lol:

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Why rightly so? If you're a LibDem voter anyway nothing that Labour nor the Conservatives have done should make them any more appealing. If it's this "selling out" thing then that's just bizarre. LibDem voters would rather just rant from the sidelines than be able to get a little say in power, even if it means having to go along with some stuff that they'd prefer not to?

You're probably right to be honest, but if those are the reasons for voters turning away from them then unfortunately it doesn't say much about the mental abilities of those voters.

U turns on spending cuts, nuclear energy, student fees, the list goes on. I can't see the rank and file supporting this, never mind any new voters. They just appear as opportunistic chancers when you see/hear them.

I'm not saying they were/are right, just that they are now supporting changes that they openly derided during their election campaign.

Did you watch Question Time last night? The audience were openly laughing at the Lib Dem sacrificial goat!

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So Farewell Then

Phil Woolas

You said some things about muslims

Which resonated

Keith's mum says why couldn't you just claim

No Wrongdoing

That was the catch-phrase

Of every other Labour Minister who got away with it

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Woolas mistake was not concentrating on just lying to the electorate like every other candidate.

BTW interesting to contrast this case with the situation in Norwich where Charles Clarke was defeated by the Liberal Democrat Simon Wright by just 300 votes in the 2010 election. The victorious candidate made great play of the fact that he signed the NUS Pledge to abolsh tuition fees while Clarke said in conscience he could not renege on a policy he introduced as Education Secretary in government. Six months later and Wright is part of a coalition putting tuition fees through the roof. The poor benighted voters of Norwich naturally have no legal redress apart from waiting until the next election

http://www.southnorwichnews.co.uk/news/anger-taken-to-mps-doorstep/

Edited by realcrookswearsuits

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