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Andrew Pelling's election agent questions my integrity - and council officers' competence
26/03/2010 22:17:00

According to today's Croydon Advertiser, Andrew Pelling's election agent, Peter Brown, has written to Council Chief Executive Jon Rouse - who is responsible for running the General and council elections in Croydon - requesting that the count should not take place at Trinity School because I am the Chairman of the Governors there and this could put the count at risk.

He doesn't suggest how exactly. For those not familiar with the process of counting the vote, ballot boxes are sealed when the polls close, brought to the count and unsealed in the presence of counting agents appointed by the various candidates. The number of ballot papers in each ballot box is then counted to check that it tallies with the number of ballot papers issued at that polling station and then the votes are counted, again in the presence of the counting agents.

Presumably Mr Brown's fevered mind imagines a scenario where a team of my supporters will intercept the ballot boxes when they arrive at Trinity, unseal them, stuff them full of votes for me and re-seal them all without anyone noticing. Not only do his remarks question the competence of Council officers, I take grave exception to the suggestion that I would be prepared to cheat to win this election. It is negative politics of the very worst kind. Andrew's decision to appoint a person who behaves like this as his election agent raises real questions about his judgement.

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Gavin Barwell, House of Commons, SW1A 1AA, Tel  020 8660 0491      © Gavin Barwell  2017       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG