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Food Fight: Election Hots Up As Candidates Reported Over Sausage Rolls and Coffee

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A UKIP candidate has reported himself to Hampshire Police after being told he could have broken electoral law because of sausage rolls.

Kim Rose, who is standing in Southampton Itchen, will be questioned over allegations he tried to influence voters by giving away sausage rolls at a party event featuring snooker star Jimmy White, the BBC reports.

Mr Rose said he had been told to report to police over the incident.

Electoral Commission rules state food and entertainment cannot be provided by candidates to “corruptly influence” votes. The event was held prior to the short campaign, on 21 February at a community centre in Weston, Hants.

Veteran snooker star Jimmy White, who Mr Rose described as a long-time friend, played pool with local youngsters. Adults were charged £2 for entry.

Saying he may have been “naive”, Mr Rose said the day was “fantastic.”

“We laid on teas, coffees, sandwiches and some sausage rolls. Now I’ve been reported for allegations of treating.” He said he found the allegations “absolutely ridiculous.”

“I’m sure people aren’t going to change their mind [over voting] for a sausage roll.”

Mr Rose said he had been contacted by Hampshire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit and asked to report to Romsey police station on Monday.

A force spokeswoman said: “We have a received an allegation of ‘treating’ by a prospective parliamentary candidate, contrary to the Representation of the People Act 1983.  We are looking into the complaint. No arrests have been made.”

Meanwhile a Conservative candidate has also been reported to the police for the same offence. Matt Warman, who is standing in the seat of Boston and Skegness, was reported to police for advertising free entry to Playtowers and a cup of coffee as part of a meet the candidate on 20th March.

In an email from DS Jarman at Lincolnshire Police, the complainant was told:

“I have had the opportunity to review the facts and have taken advice. I am now in a position to update you with the result of the two matters you passed to me.

Point 1 [treating] – This has been considered and appropriate action has been taken…

All these matters will be reported to the Electoral Commission’.

A Lincolnshire Police spokesperson said they would not be providing any further details on what action had been taken.

 

 


 


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