Hat-tip to the Tory blogger and LBC radio presenter Iain Dale for this, which he linked to on Twitter with the note: “And these people want to represent us?”
Up to the April 24 deadline this week, all candidates who want to stand in next month’s local elections have to find 10 residents to nominate them. A pretty straightforward piece of admin really, you’d think. Name, address and voting roll number required to complete the paperwork.
Andrew Kennedy, the chairman of a local Conservative association in a true-blue part of Kent, has to oversee such work. This week, he gave examples of what some of his candidates are capable of doing…
Candidate One managed to submit a paper with seven of the 10 signatures invalid. When I asked why so many non-residents had signed his paper he replied, “I took it around my local pub”. But two-thirds of them don’t live in your ward… “well, that might be the case, but they were in my ward when they signed the paper…”.
Candidate Two managed to ask a Thai lady, who is not even a UK citizen, let alone a registered voter, to sign her paper. Strangely, however, despite not being registered she had a roll number alongside her name (although the number didn’t exist). When I asked where the roll number came from, the candidate replied, “Oh I couldn’t find her, so I added her to the end of the list and made-up a number for her.”
Candidate Three: Not a single roll number matched the ones on the register, though fortunately everyone lived in the ward. Apparently, the candidate couldn’t find the electoral roll I had given him four days earlier, so used last year’s. “Does it really matter?” he asked.
Candidate Four: Now this is a first. This candidate got “somewhat confused” over the paperwork and entered me as the candidate and him as the election agent. When I pointed out the error, he asked, “Oh that’s OK – would you like to stand instead?”
Candidate Five: This candidate couldn’t find a 10th signatory, so signed the form himself.
There is a suggestion that Croydon Conservatives have tried hard to find an additional election agent to take on some of the work which Ian Parker has long undertaken, but they have struggled to find someone up to the task.
Surely examples of candidates such as those outlined above could never possibly happen among Croydon’s much higher calibre candidates. Could they?
Recent Inside Croydon election coverage:
- Tea-time leaflet leaves Easter egg over faces of Waddon Tories
- A Viscount, two Lords and a comedian back Labour’s campaign
- Council spends £200,000 on drop kerbs in flood-risk area
- Tories pick ‘Osland of the Yard’ to stand in Thornton Heath
- Newman struggles to get Labour singing from the same songsheet
- What Barwell fails to tell you and the myths of Council Tax
- Council allowances and local politicians’ secret consensus
- Tory ward chairman quits to stand for UKIP in Ashburton
- Snap! Croydon Tories use same leaflet graphics as council
Coming to Croydon
- Private Peaceful, Charles Cryer Theatre, Apr 23-26
- Alison, A Rock Opera, Spread Eagle Theatre, Apr 23-26
- Groundwork River Wandle project workshop, Apr 23
- David Lean Cinema: Short Term 12, Apr 24
- Groundwork River Wandle project workshop, Apr 24
- Stop The Incinerator Beer and Bingo fund-raiser, Apr 28
- Future of Crystal Palace debate, Apr 30
- Groundwork River Wandle project workshop, Apr 30
- David Lean Cinema: The Railway Man, May 1
- Groundwork River Wandle project workshop, May 1
- Hauntology – the architecture of Croydon, Apr 5-May 2
- David Lean Cinema: Wadjda, May 8
- Coulsdon Euro election hustings, May 8
- David Lean Cinema: Blue Velvet, May 10
- Norwood Society Talk: West Norwood – a place of change, May 15
- David Lean Cinema: The Invisible Woman, May 15
- Coulsdon West local election hustings, May 16
- Croydon RFC charity memorial day, May 17
- Coulsdon East local election hustings, May 20 (tbc)
- David Lean Cinema: The Rocket, May 22
- David Lean Cinema: Dallas Buyers Club, May 29
- Norwood Society Talk: The Concrete Church, June 19
- Crystal Palace Overground Festival, June 26-29
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 72,342 average monthly page views (Jan-Mar 2014)
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