Controversy on busy polling day

THERE was a double dose of election controversy last week – including claims of a voting irregularity in Mirfield.

Police interviewed a 75-year-old man over reports that the number of postal ballots for Tory candidate Martyn Bolt were revealed on Facebook on the day of voting (last Thursday).

And an aide to Jo Cox MP got into bother after she penned an article critical of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

In Mirfield it was said a percentage tally for Coun Bolt was shared online while voting was still under way.

Postal ballots are counted before polling day but should not be revealed in case it influences the outcome.

Police, who were asked to investigate alleged electoral fraud, are continuing their enquiries.

Re-elected Coun Bolt disputed the term “electoral fraud” and also said: “As far as I know I’m not implicated. Electoral fraud involving postal votes is when somebody takes piles of ballots and fills them in.

“What’s happened here is somebody saw the postal votes being emptied out and told somebody else about it.”

Batley and Spen Labour MP Mrs Cox, meanwhile, co-wrote an article for The Guardian about Mr Corbyn following perceived poor election results.

In it Mrs Cox and fellow Labour MP Neil Coyle criticised Mr Corbyn’s “weak leadership” and “poor judgement”.

The article was headlined “We nominated Jeremy Corbyn for leadership. Now we regret it.”

Local party members said to be upset received an explanation in an email entitled “Why I Knifed Corbyn”.

Dan Howard, an aide to Mrs Cox reportedly behind the email, apologised and was said to have offered his resignation, but was still at work this week.

Mrs Cox said: “An email was sent out to party members in error by a member of staff.

“Those who received it have been contacted with an explanation. Both I and the member of staff have apologised for the error and any offence caused.”

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