Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Legality of Bracknell Conservative party leaflet


From Bracknell Liberal Democrat Press Release;


'The Bracknell Liberal Democrats believe the election manifesto leaflet published on behalf of Bracknell Conservative Association breaches election regulations. It by giving the impression that Bracknell Forest Borough Council is supporting the Conservative Party in the forthcoming local elections on 5 May 2011. 


Not only is the leaflet entitled 'Bracknell Forest Borough Council' but it also contains  a letter from Paul Bettison as Leader of the Council. During this period of 'purdah' councils are expected to distance themselves from the elections taking place in their areas and to maintain an even-handed and impartial approach to the proceedings. 


Campaign publicity material is subject to a number of restrictions under electoral law  and is also subject to the general civil and criminal law relating to published material.' 


Oh dear, and this after some Conservative leaflets where acidentally distrubuted with council news letter a few months ago. The above if taken to its full conclusion could lead to the disqualification of every Conservative councillor.
I will try to get hold of a copy of the leaflet in the next few days.


  1. I'm not sure I see anything in your description above that would make this break election law

  2. Well not my words, it's taken from the PR of the Bracknell lib dems, they are asking how they should proceed, let's see if I can get a copy, it's about not representing the council during election time.

  3. A copy can be obtained from http://www.nigelrennie.co.uk/issues/independant-voice/
    The manifesto appears to break purdah in a number of areas and the Libdems are quite right to raise the issue.

  4. I did post a link on this Blog about the Manifesto (on the conservative website www.bracknellconservatives.com )some time back in response to another post.
    When I went to review it magically deleted itself.

    I and other Conservatives are currently slogging around the whole Borough of Bracknell Forest with our Conservative Manifesto for The Borough of Bracknell Forest.
    If you would like a hard copy I would be glad to deliver it to you. We want everyone to read it and make their minds up.

    If there is such a thing a a Lib Dem or a Labour Manifesto they must be hiding it from people.
    I do not see one at www.bracknelllabour.org.uk or

    By the way - Something odd also happened to my reply about so called "green" technology and the "problems" it can cause.

    One point - The "purdah rules" are to do with central Government and Civil Service. As a candidate you can campaign on whatever issue you like
    see: www.libdemvoice.org/election-purdah-period-what-can-and-cant-be-done-18189.html
    and: www.guardian.co.uk/politics/wintour-and-watt/2011/jan/13/oldham-east-and-saddleworth-liberaldemocrats

  5. Alvin Your assumption in your last comment is that voters understand and are motivated to learn about 'purduh'. Surely there is an obligation by all candidates to ensure there is transparency across all areas of public life, without the public having to get involved. As individuals everyone is expected to act with a degree of professionalism everyday, but it seems 'normal for some politicians, both locally and nationally to ignore these simple rules.

    For the ease of transparency, as a Conservative party activist of many years standing I am campaigning for the current BFC Executive to be replaced. They are well past their sell-by-date.

    Change the Executive and the leadership team.

  6. No assumption – Just clarifying what the previous poster was on about. I don't think anyone understands "purduh", not even the firm of lawyers in the link I gave.

  7. For Alvin and any others who do no know, I have published a link on my web site which gives a good overview of purdah. Wikipedia is also a good source.

    Alvin, for your own information I think you will find that many people understand the meaning of purdah, especially the Libdems by the sound of things.

  8. It (purdah) only relates to what a council, not what a councillor, does.
    For example, a council could not put out or pay for publicity that would be seen to promote a councillor – eg notice of a surgery - but a councillor could personally pay for it.

    The document that should be looked at in this regard is the "Code of recommended practice on local authority publicity". (31 March 2011)
    This is being reviewed, but the current version gives enough of an indication of what is allowed.

    None of the above has anything to do with literature issued by the Conservative party.

  9. Do Councillors not represent a Council?

  10. Sorry Nigel. You just don't get it.

  11. In your interpretation I obviously do not "get it". Seems like the LibDems are using their interpretation. Should be interesting.

  12. I can't see the problem. It is a leaflet distributed for the purpose of the 'Bracknell Forest Council Elections' that is why it is titled as such. it is also stating truths such as, the present Council being Conservative led, and how well the they feel they have performed in this role. If labour and the Lib Dems spent as much time knocking on doors and talking to local people and produced some literature for us to read and they do whinging about the Conservatives they might get some votes. presently they are pretty faceless in the locality. Come out wherever you are! and have a plan if you what the people of Bracknell to take you seriously.

  13. Is that Nigel rennie , it's nice to have you on here, good luck, I would add that I personally knock on doors thought out the year but lib dems and I expect labour don't have the people to knock on ever door, most we only see every 4 years and Boone has ever knocked on my door because I think people don't like to ce to my area, mount p

  14. Hi, yes this is Nigel Rennie. Like the blogs, keep it up. Rumors abounding on the "Bracknell Forest Borough Council" election manifesto. A number of voters believe that this document was published by BFBC especially as it has been endorsed by the leader of the Council, Mr Bettison. The LibDems might not be the only ones who have taken exception to this document.

  15. Yes I woul expect all other parties to, espually labour, although I haven't heard anything from them yet.