Election 2019

General election 2019: 'Free fish and chips' pledge reported to police

Fish and chip shop

A chippy owner has offered free fish and chips if the Brexit Party gains MPs in two South Yorkshire seats, prompting complaints to police.

Penistone town councillor David Wood posted the offer on the Facebook page for his takeaway, Woody's Fish and Chips.

The offer is a practice known as "treating" and is not allowed under the Representation of the People Act 1983.

Mr Wood has since removed the post, but said the offer still stood.

His post stated free food would be on offer in Barnsley if Labour seats formerly held by Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central) and Stephanie Peacock (Barnsley East) were lost to the Brexit Party in the general election on 12 December, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported.

The post on Facebook read: "Election Promise! Help Woody's to remove our two current Labour MPs from their seats in Westminster in favour of Jim Ferguson for Barnsley East and Victoria Felton for Barnsley Central.

'My treat'

"Our promise to the electorate of Barnsley is to offer free Cod Bits & Chips to everyone that visits our shop on December the 13th in celebration of turfing Labour MPs out of Barnsley. You can count on us to deliver. Promise."

South Yorkshire Police confirmed it had received two complaints and officers had "given some advice to the person involved".

When contacted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Mr Wood said he had not had any contact regarding the Facebook post, but said he would remove it, which has now happened.

But the independent councillor defended his position and said: "What is Jeremy Corbyn doing, giving free broadband?

"I can take the post down but I will be putting it back up the day after, when we win. No-one has contacted me from the police.

"I am not associated with the Brexit Party, apart from helping the candidates. That is my treat to my customers after the Brexit Party win. If they don't win, they won't get it," he said.

Mr Jarvis and Ms Peacock have declined to comment, saying it was a matter for the police.

The candidates for Barnsley East are Jim Ferguson for the Brexit Party, Adam Gregg for the Conservatives, Stephanie Peacock for Labour, Sophie Thornton for the Liberal Democrats and Richard Trotman for the Green Party.

The candidates for Barnsley Central are Iftikhar Ahmed for the Conservatives, Victoria Felton for the Brexit Party, Tom Heyes for the Greens, Dan Jarvis for Labour, Will Sapwell for the Liberal Democrats, Ryan Williams for the Yorkshire Party and Donald Wood, an independent.

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