THE founder of a political discussion group has been reported to the police for making a “false” and potentially damaging claim about Workington’s Conservative election candidate.

Al Mitchell, the administrator of the Allerdale Politics Facebook group, claimed that the code of conduct complaint he made against parliamentary hopeful Mark Jenkinson had been “upheld”.

However, according to the official decision notice, Allerdale Council officers ruled that “no action” will be taken and that “the complaint will not be referred for investigation”.

Mr Jenkinson, who also serves as deputy leader of Allerdale Council, reported Mr Mitchell’s comments to the police on the grounds that it is a criminal act to make false claims about a parliamentary candidate in a bid to influence the election result.

Mr Jenkinson said: “He said the complaint against me was upheld. It wasn’t, by very virtue of the fact that no action has been taken.

“This is an incredibly busy time. I am out every single day talking to thousands of people a week getting my message out, and I have no time to comment on vexatious complaints from Labour activists that have been rightly quashed by the monitoring officer in consultation with the independent person.”

Mr Mitchell had alleged that Mr Jenkinson had breached the code of conduct in a discussion of his role as councillor and his allowances on Facebook and that he used “inappropriate language”.

It is understood that Mr Mitchell has submitted more than one complaint to the council about Mr Jenkinson.

At least one of the grievances is believed to concern comments the councillor is said to have made referring to a member of the public as a “cretin”.

The decision notice reveals that the council’s monitoring

officer highlighted to Mr Jenkinson “the importance of ensuring high standards of conduct when acting in his capacity as a councillor.”

“Mr Jenkinson recognises the importance of ensuring social media is in accordance with the code of conduct,” the ruling adds.

Under the Representation of the People Act, it is illegal to “make or publish any false statement of fact in relation to the candidate’s personal character or conduct”.

Since 53-year-old civil servant Mr Mitchell established the Allerdale Politics website in late September, comments on the website have been the subject of more than one police complaint.

One of the group rules is that those describing comment as fact must provide evidence to support their claims.

The page also warns people that defamatory comments “will be removed immediately”, urges people using the site to be kind and courteous.

Mr Mitchell has been approached for comment but had not responded at the time of going to press.

Other candidates confirmed for the Workington seat are:

n Nicky Cockburn, independent;

n Sue Hayman, Labour;

n Neil Hughes, Liberal Democrats;

n Roy Ivinson, independent;

n Gill Perry, Green Party;

n and David Walker, Brexit Party.