Sunday, 11 May 2014

When is a disqualification not a disqualification?

Just over 12 months ago, Mike Whitby a BNP activist and ex Community Councillor from Wrecsam was disqualified for 5 years from becoming a member of any County Council or other relevant authority within the meaning of the Local Government Act 2000. Mr Whitby had been found by the Adjudication Panel for Wales to have breached the Members Code of Conduct whilst a member of Coedpoeth Community Council, by bringing the council into disrepute.

This disqualification has however not prevented Mr Whitby from becoming the lead candidate for the BNP in Wales at the forthcoming European election. This is an absurd situation but is one that is permitted as the Electoral Commission's Guidance for Candidates and Agents clearly shows.

Personally, I believe that anyone (not just Whitby), who is disqualified from any election at whatever level and that includes Assembly, Westminster and Europe, should be disqualified from ALL elections.

Perhaps we need to campaign to amend the Local Government Act 2000, to extend disqualification to all elections. Anomalies or loopholes such as this does nothing to enhance the reputation and credibility of our legislatures.

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