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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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BNP accuses Allerdale council of electoral fraud

The British National Party has accused Allerdale council of electoral fraud, saying that many voters in Maryport reported not being sent their postal votes and were then denied replacements or the chance to vote at polling stations.

BNP in Maryport photo
BNP leader Nick Griffin, right, with other party members check ballot totals with Allerdale council chief executive Harry Dyke, left

Responding to the allegations, the authority’s chief executive, Harry Dyke, said: “As far as I’m concerned this election has been conducted absolutely in line with electoral legislation and guidance.

“I’d be very surprised if we have any case whatsoever to answer.

“I’m very confident we can defend our actions.

“Some of the things Nick Griffin is reported to have said, I think, are quite ridiculous remarks.

“This was an election similar to many other elections which have been carried out. The election has been carried out properly.

“In any election you’re going to get some people who claim that they haven’t received postal votes or the dog has ruined some postal votes.

“Any electors, in the run-up to the poll, who contacted us were entitled to receive a replacement postal vote.

“This election has been conducted entirely properly and the results that have been declared are the right and proper results.”

Talks will take place this week to decide the make-up of Cumbria County Council’s new Cabinet – and who will be leader.

Labour emerged as the largest party with 35 seats following the election count – however the party needed 43 or more to gain overall control.

In Copeland, Sue Hayman, for Howgate, said constituents raised the state of roads as a priority.

“What people want is someone who is going to be visible and listen to them so we can get a feel of what is important,” she said.

“It’s so important to work with local people, including parish councils, the borough council and community groups to find out what people are saying and what their priorities are.”

Henry Wormstrup, a Copeland councillor and former mayor, said he was “humbled” to be elected to the county council for the first time.

“It has been hard work – I knew it would be a tight contest – but this is just the beginning.

“I am proud to have been elected and I will do my very best for the people of Egremont North and St Bees.”

New Bransty councillor Eileen Weir said: “It’s my privilege to have been elected and I will work to support Whitehaven town centre, on improvements to the roads across the division and to protect vital frontline services.”

The minority parties generally fared poorly at the polls in Copeland. UKIP gained 1,151 votes, its best result saw Pamela Tyson finishing second in Egremont with 345 votes.

The BNP gained 430 votes, the Greens 537 and the only Liberal Democrat to stand, Mike Minogue of Cleator Moor East and Frizington, polled 77.

A by-election was held for the Hensingham seat on Copeland Council.

Labour’s Allan Forster was elected with 670 votes, ahead of Conservative Genna Martin on 223.

In Allerdale, Labour’s Alan Clark regained Dearham and Broughton after losing the division, in its previous form, to Conservative Eddie Martin four years ago.

Mr Martin, who had been county council leader, did not stand for re-election.

Mayor of Keswick Andrew Lysser took the town’s division from Ron Munby.

Mr Lysser got 418 votes, followed by Liberal Democrat Phill Roberts with 370 and Mr Munby, who remains on Allerdale Council with 251.

In Seaton, Independent Trevor Fee retained his seat by a close margin, gaining 520 votes to Labour candidate Celia Tibble’s 499.

Cockermouth’s Conservative councillors Eric Nicholson and Alan Kennon retained their seats.

Labour’s Alan Barry retained Workington’s St Michael’s division with 701 votes while UKIP’s Mark Jenkinson came second with 543.

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