Friday, 13 July 2012

Labour's Election Expenses for Newsome Ward 2012

When people think about politicians and expenses they often think about duckhouses and dodgy expenses claims. Election expenses are different, they are about how much political parties are legally allowed to spend on local elections. The legal spending limit is based on a base amount and an amount per elector. In Newsome this equated to a spend limit of around £1300. The idea is that a political party can't effectively 'buy an election' by outclassing their opponent with flashy literature and paid support. During the election campaign in Newsome we became increasingly aware of the amount of colour literature being produced by Labour. We had a full colour A2 leaflet, An A4 full colour leaflet, a colour prepoll leaflet, a colour polling day card, student letters, postal voter letters, letters to asian householders (full of misinformation), a colour leaflet for Council tenants, posters. I strongly suspect the people putting posterboards up were paid, at least they said they were when I asked them!

So I went to the Elections Office last week to get a copy of the election expense return for the Newsome Labour Candidate intrigued to know what they had put down as their expenses because we were absolutely sure they must have completely blown their legal limit.  What was interesting in the document was the total lack of detail. Their (friendly?) printer was Sheaf Graphics of Sheffield (the Labour Party's usual printer and provider of receipts). Leaflets on the form said a straight £1095 which was supposed to cover all their printing supplied. On the breakdown of all their printing it states:
  • Election addresses (2 sorts) - £740
  • Pre-poll cards - £140
  • Letters - £120
  • Posters - £95
There was no specified number of leaflets that were produced but it is clear that the number of different items  Labour distributed was not reflected in the information provided on the election expenses submission and their leaflets are extremely cheap according to their receipt.

The official election agent for the Labour campaign was Sheikh Noor Ullah but it is well known that the real manager of their campaign was one Mehboob Khan, Leader of Kirklees Council.


  1. Sounds sadly familiar - we know that Labour were paying people to canvass and knock up, and we suspect that some leafleters were being paid as well. This meant that they could give the impression that candidates were active all year when in some cases they had only been announced a few weeks before close of nominations.

    Of course a lot of this 'buying' of elections wouldn't have happened if Labour hadn't been given stacks of regional trade union money to win seats. I wonder how many regional trade union members would be happy to know that they're funding a party that in my area put senior management (including Chief Exec) pay up by 23% two years ago at the same time as pay freezes and job losses for other Council staff.......

  2. Thanks Elise. Just for those reading comments. Elise's relate to Oxford City Council not Kirklees.

  3. So zero facts, just spurious allegations?

  4. Not at all 'Anonymous'. The election material distributed by the Labour Party in the 2012 Newsome election campaign does not tally with that declared on their election expenses return - FACT!

  5. This is very worrying. You should call the police.

  6. That is exactly what I will do if there is any repetition of this abuse of the electoral process by the Labour Party.

  7. What a load of complete bollocks - just slurs and envy, typical of the greens

  8. What here is 'bollocks' Anonymous. I've been pretty specific in what I've accused them of. What have I got wrong?