Voter complains over ‘Leave’ campaigner outside polling station

A RESIDENT complained about anti-EU leaflets handed out outside a Birstall polling station.

Voter Neil Judge, 73, of Law Street, Batley, went to St Saviour’s Church on Brookroyd Lane at around 11am last Thursday.

On the way in he was handed a leaflet by a ‘Leave’ campaigner which led to him complaining when inside.

Mr Judge said: “I’m not easily intimidated, but I did wonder if this was breach of the Representation of the People Act.

“The presiding officer said while he didn’t like it either, the person was beyond the polling station boundary and so there was nothing he could do. My concern is a leaflet could be left in a polling station booth and end up influencing how somebody else votes.”

A Kirklees Council spokesman said: “A concern was raised with the presiding officer at St Saviour’s Church, regarding an individual standing outside the curtilage of the polling station who was handing out leaflets to people going into vote.

“The individual had also parked a car displaying campaign posters close to the entrance of the polling station. While campaigning is not permitted within the polling station or within its curtilage, the presiding officer has limited authority to prevent someone from campaigning beyond that boundary.

“There was no indication that the man’s behaviour was perceived as aggressive or intended to intimidate electors – as such it would not be covered by the Representation of People Act 1983 s115.

“However, once the presiding officer was in a position to leave the station he spoke to the individual and requested that the car be moved. The individual agreed and subsequently drove away.

“It is thought the man was outside the curtilage of the station for no more than 30 minutes. At no point were any leaflets left in the polling station.”

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