Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Probe over Southampton Conservatives free pen election fraud claim

Jeremy Moulton
Image caption The pens urged people to vote for Jeremy Moulton

A Conservative candidate in Southampton is being investigated over an allegation of electoral fraud.

It comes after pens urging people to vote for Jeremy Moulton were delivered to residents ahead of the city council elections on 3 May.

Hampshire Police said it was working with the Crown Prosecution Service and the Electoral Commission to assess if an offence had been committed.

Mr Moulton and Southampton Conservatives have not yet commented.

It was reported by Ed Thompson who is standing for Viva Europa.

Mr Moulton is leader of the Conservative group on Southampton City Council.

Image copyright LDRS/William Rimell
Image caption The pens were delivered to residents ahead of the city council elections on 3 May

Mr Thompson said he wanted to make sure all prospective councillors were competing on a "level playing field".

The Electoral Commission's summary of electoral offences states: "A person is guilty of treating if either before, during or after an election they directly or indirectly give or provide any food, drink, entertainment or provision to corruptly influence any voter to vote or refrain from voting."

In 2015 a UKIP parliamentary candidate was questioned over allegations he tried to influence voters with sausage rolls.

No further action was taken against Kim Rose, standing in Southampton Itchen.

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