Harrogate Greens report Lib Dems to police for by-election leaflet
Mar 27, 2024
By-election candidates Gilly Charters and Andrew Timothy.

The Green Party candidate in the forthcoming Stray, Woodlands and Hookstone by-election in Harrogate has reported the Liberal Democrats to the police.

The by-election for a seat on North Yorkshire Council will take place on April 11 following the resignation of former Lib Dem councillor Pat Marsh, who posted anti-semitic comments on social media.

The cost of the by-election is expected to be £15,000.

Andrew Timothy, the Lib Dem candidate, sent out a leaflet saying ‘the Green’s (sic) have stood down this election’.

But the Harrogate and District Green Party has chosen Gilly Charters to contest the division, as reported by the Stray Ferret on March 11.

Ms Charters said her husband and political agent, Ian, had contacted North Yorkshire Police and he was due to be interviewed about the matter on April 1.

She said voters were confused by the leaflet and the by-election might even have to be re-run “if the police find electoral malfeasance”.

The leaflet urges postal voters to ‘return your postal vote in the next few days’.

Ms Charters said:

“I want the Lib Dems to write to their postal voters with first class stamps and very clearly say ‘we are terribly sorry, Gilly Charters is standing for the Green Party’. It would retract what has gone out.”

A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats said:

“A small number of leaflets were printed in error. We stopped delivering them when we realised our mistake.

“Our future campaign materials will make clear this election is a two-horse race between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives, and that Labour and Green candidates cannot win.”

Mr Charters described that as “nonsense”, adding:

“A lot has changed since the last election here in 2022. Polling for the Conservatives has gone down and down and down. It’s not straightforward.”

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