Police looking at Tory’s possible breach of rules

POLICE are investigating possible election rules breaches by Batley and Spen Conservative candidate Imtiaz Ameen.

A complaint was made after hundreds of voters attended Mr Ameen’s campaign launch at the Al Hikmah Centre in Track Road, Batley, two weeks ago.

Following speeches from the candidate and guests who included Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and Batley and Spen Tory leader Coun Robert Light, a meal was apparently served.

Under strict election guidelines, there is an offence of ‘treating’ which goes beyond basic hospitality.

Det Insp Andy Leonard, of Kirklees District CID, said: “We have received an allegation of a potential treating offence at an election event in the Batley & Spen ward area.

“This report is being considered to establish whether any criminal offences have been committed which require further investigation.”

Coun Light said: “The Batley & Spen Conservative Association has not been contacted by the police but, if they do, we will fully cooperate with any enquiry as we are confident that any allegations of treating are totally spurious.”

Electoral Commission guidelines describe treating as providing food, drink, entertainment or provision to corruptly influence any voter to vote or refrain

from voting.

In a separate development, a worshipper at a Batley mosque claims that Dewsbury businessman and former Labour party fixer Tahir ‘Terry’ Zaman has been canvassing Muslim voters with Tory candidate Ameen.

The man, who requested anonymity, said the pair had also visited several of his family members’ homes using the controversial ‘biradari’ Muslim convention – telling people it would be anti-Islamic not to vote for a fellow Muslim.

He said: “Mr Zaman has visited my house and others in my family with Mr Ameen. They spoke to my father and told him it would be against our religion not to vote for Mr Ameen.

“He told him to listen, to follow his heart and vote for a brother Muslim.”

The man said the same had happened at his mosque, Jame Masjid in Henry Street.

Imtiaz Ameen is a Dewsbury solicitor and former Dewsbury South Conservative councillor. In 2010 he stood unsuccessfully in the general election against former Home Secretary Jack Straw in Blackburn.

Mr Ameen did not respond to requests from The Press to comment on the allegations.

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