Welcome to the Jeffrey Archer Suite, Belmarsh…

With everything else that’s gone on around the Ealing Southall by-election and mere hours before the polls open, you’d think there was nothing left to be said until the result is announced tomorrow night.

And you’d be wrong, because just when you thought you’d seen every last twist and turn, Jonathan Isaby pops up at the Telegraph and manages to drop himself and the Tory Party right in the shit with a blog post (now hastily removed) that appears to contain a criminal breach of the Representation of the People Act:

telegraphsmudge.jpg

Before anyone asks, the incriminating bit – which purports to show the postal vote tallies for the three main parties – has been blurred out for legal reasons, specifically those listed in Schedule 6, Section 66A of the 2000 amendments to the Representation of the People Act 1983, to whit:

“66A. – (1) No person shall, in the case of an election to which this section applies, publish before the poll is closed

(a) any statement relating to the way in which voters have voted at the election where that statement is (or might reasonably be taken to be) based on information given by voters after they have voted, or

(b) any forecast as to the result of the election which is (or might reasonably be taken to be) based on information so given.

(2) This section applies to-

(a) any parliamentary election; and

(b) any local government election in England or Wales.

(3) If a person acts in contravention of subsection (1) above, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.

Got that? Up to six months in the Jeffrey Archer Suite at Belmarsh for publishing even the results of an exit poll before the polls close, never mind publishing the tallies that parties shouldn’t really be taking, from the verification of postal votes and Isaby manages to finger a ‘source inside the Tory Campaign’ as having provided the information.

And lets not forget, of course, that should Her Maj’s Constabulary take a bit of a gander at this, then Isaby is going to come under pressure to identify his source within the Tory campaign and, should he refuse, could face the prospect of playing chicken with a judge over the relative importance of protecting one’s source vs contempt of court, a game in, so I am reliably informed, the judge always wins.

Not much else to say at the moment apart from cheers to PP for the heads up and to dedicate this next couple of songs are Jonathan and his, as yet, unnamed source:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae_Gv8KoiZA

And now for a little Magic Sam…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfKTVqKXz4o
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  • epsilon

    Can we get these Tories banged up? Or will their old school tie/Oxbridge friends take care to see that they don’t?

  • These tories will probably escape. The police are SO WEAK on this stuff. And if what they do does not change the course of this election it will just vanish. Even where breaches do change things the EC, the police and everyone is so lax. The parties have a cartel IMO.

  • Anil Sharma

    Story emerging (www.sikhsangat.com) that someone called Mr Rai has committed suicide. If this is Dr Rai one of the candidates, do the rules allow the election to carry on in Ealing Southall.

  • You know, I’m not at all sure…

    Just checked and the story seems to be just an unfounded rumour…

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  • Unity, I doubt very much that this was posted by Anil Sharma:
    http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2007/07/lets_catch_ours.asp

  • How about pretending one of Tony Lit’s rivals for the Sikh vote is dead? By suicide. Suggesting in comments at mine that the by-election may be off?

    Would that be a police matter?

  • Right, the Sikh hothead commented the story here too … I’ve got the screen grabs at mine.

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