Questions raised on church attendance statement in election leaflet for Havant Tory candidate Alan Mak

Alan Mak
Alan Mak
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THE Conservative parliamentary candidate for Havant has again been accused of misleading potential voters.

Alan Mak put out information on an election leaflet stating he attends St Faith’s Church in Havant.

The News understands Mr Mak has only been seen twice at the church since Rector Tom Kennar’s installation in February.

A source told The News Fr Kennar contacted Mr Mak after he was appointed asking him not to say he attends church in election material unless he was prepared to turn up. The following week, he did.

Fr Kennar declined to speak to The News but a spokesman for the Portsmouth Diocese confirmed that Mr Mak had only been seen on one previous occasion, Fr Tom’s installation, in the two months before the leaflet was published.

There was also confusion over another claim in a different election leaflet. In it Mr Mak says he runs his own small business ‘near St Faith’s Church helping start-ups and entrepreneurs’.

But a resident, who does not wish to be named, was unable to locate it.

He said: ‘This interested me and I wanted to speak to Mr Mak on behalf of my son. I went to South Street, where I know there is a Conservative Party office, but they had no idea what I was talking about and said Mr Mak’s business is not run from there.

‘They suggested I contact Langstone Technology Park where Mr Mak has an office and no-one there knew anything about this business either.

‘It just seems very odd and I don’t understand why Mr Mak has said it on his election leaflet if it’s not correct.’

Mr Mak’s election rival, Ukip candidate John Perry, said he feels Mr Mak should make his address public in the Statement of Persons Nominated which lists names and addresses of all parliamentary candidates.

The Election Commission confirmed a candidate can withhold their address from the public but Mr Mak is the only one of the five local candidates to do so.

Mr Perry said: ‘I’m curious as to why Mr Mak is the only Havant parliamentary candidate not to disclose his address on the ballot paper.

‘I challenge Alan Mak to disclose where he lives and the address he uses for his electoral roll entry.’

Earlier this month The News reported that a number of allegations had been levelled at Mr Mak by a left-wing blog, over apparent exaggerations in the CV given to voters in the primary that saw him made the Conservative’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Havant last year. Mr Mak denied the accusations.

A statement from Havant Conservative Association said: ‘We’re entirely satisfied with Alan Mak’s selection process. He is an excellent and popular candidate locally, and will make an outstanding MP.

‘This unfounded personal attack is clearly intended to distract us from our positive and energetic campaign. We will not be distracted from focusing on the priorities of local residents.’

Candidate rebuts accusations

Regarding attending St Faith’s Church, Alan Mak said: ‘Having visited a number of other local churches in the preceding months, I decided St Faith’s best suited my Christian faith, and my attendance there started on February 17 with Tom Kennar’s installation.

‘I felt this was a good time to begin because there would be other newcomers there. I’ve since built a good relationship with Tom and got to know more about St Faith’s. I didn’t make any mention of attending St Faith’s in my literature until mid-April.

‘Like many Christians, I attend church when I can, but not as much as I’d like, especially recently given how busy my campaigning work has been. I’ve told Tom Kennar this and he is content.’

Regarding his business for start-ups, he said: ‘I run my small business from my home address in Havant. The registered office of both my companies is their accountant’s office, as is normal practice.’

Regarding his address, he said: ‘If elected, I will of course have an office accessible to all residents. However, I would hope to maintain the privacy of my own home, which is why I’ve taken up the option, used by other candidates around the country, not to disclose my address.

‘I live in Havant. I am on the electoral register in Havant and the Electoral Registration Officer at Havant Council is aware of my home address.’