Tom GOrdon
Tom Gordon

Harrogate Libdems make claims a candidate has dropped out in by-election, when they haven’t

26 March 2024

The Harrogate and Knaresborough Liberal Democrats have written to some postal voters in a by-election, claiming that a candidate has now dropped out, when that is not the case.

Following Pat Marsh resigning her seat as Councillor, a by-election was called for for the Stray, Woodlands and Hookstone Division of Harrogate.

In a letter from Andrew Timothy, the Liberal Democrat candidate, he has said “We all know whatever the situation nationally, the by-election in Stray, Woodlands and Hookstone ward will between the Libdems and the Conservative. Labour came a distant third last time and the Green’s have stood down this time”

The letter then continues “Please return your postal vote as soon as possible – to make sure your voice is heard”

The letter was by printed by YLD at Unit 12A Victoria Farm Estate YO30 6PQ. YLD is the York Liberal Democrats, making this an internally printed letter.

The matter has now been put to the Electoral Commission and North Yorkshire Police.

Why is this a serious matter ?

Claiming that a candidate has dropped out was an untruth. To then urge the quick return of a postal vote, could be considered that they want people to vote before they realise that there is in fact a Green Party candidate.

So this action directly manipulates how people may have voted, and you can not simply lie during a campaign.

In that division there are 1,440 postal voters.

Tom Gordon the Harrogate and Knaresborough Liberal Democrat spokesperson, was approached, but has declined to comment.

The by-election for Stray, Woodlands and Hookstone Division of Harrogate has candidates for the Conservatives, Labour, Reform UK, Green Party and Libdems. It will take place on the 11 April 2024.





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