Ukip criticised for printing election leaflets in Fareham which are '˜unclear'

UKIP has been criticised for sending out leaflets for the local elections which the Conservatives claim are breaking the law.

Thursday, 14th April 2016, 6:02 am
The Ukip leaflet
The Ukip leaflet

The Tories say the leaflets, which have been delivered in wards across parts of Fareham, do not made it clear, who was responsible for their production.

All election literature must display this by law to give transparency on who is campaigning.

But the Ukip leaflets for Stubbington show the information in small black letters on a purple background, making it difficult to read.

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Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: ‘This is a fundamental and juvenile error that has been made.

‘Ukip has delivered thousands of leaflets in Fareham without all the legal requirements being met and that is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of £5,000 per leaflet.

‘The law is clear in that it must be clear and visible.’

Fareham Borough Council officers have contacted the police about the issue.

But councillor Chris Wood, who is Fareham’s only Ukip councillor, said: ‘There’s nothing wrong with it whatsoever.

‘The complainant is just picking holes and wasting police time and they should focus on improving things in the local area.

‘All these leaflets are the same size as the ones I have had printed for the last four years. We haven’t had any complaints before.’

Stubbington Ukip candidate Carolyn Heneghan said: ‘We are governed by the Electoral Commission. I have done nothing wrong.’

Meanwhile, Cllr Wood has defended the party’s decision to put just seven candidates up for election across Fareham and Gosport. He said it’s to enable the party to focus on the key wards.

‘Last time we had 20 candidates. This time we have put them in places where we think they can win,’ he said.

‘It’s a complete change. I would be disappointed if we didn’t win half of them.’

In Fareham, there are candidates standing in Fareham North West, Fareham South, Hill Head and Stubbington. In Gosport there are candidates standing in Forton, Grange and Rowner and Holbrook.