Conservatives accuse UKIP candidate of falsifying official paperwork

If the Conservative allegations are correct, this is a serious offence.

Alan Wells, chairman of the Isle of Wight Conservative Association has written to UKIP candidate Richard Wilkins, questioning the origins of one of the signatures on the nomination papers that he submitted when applying to run as a candidate in the 2013 Isle of Wight local elections.

If proven to be true in court, it’s a serious offence that could lead to a prison sentence.

In the letter, which OnTheWight has seen a copy of, Alan says that he inspected the Notice of Poll issued by County Hall last Friday and pinpoints one of the eight listed nominees, saying that she didn’t sign the official papers.

Further, Alan says that the listed nominee visited County Hall yesterday to look at the paperwork and confirmed “that the signature and handwriting purporting to be hers is false, and that it was not written by her.”

Warning of Police
The letter, which was to be hand-delivered to the UKIP candidate, Richard Wilkins, warns that they intend to report the incident to the Police on Wednesday, giving him until 5pm today to give a written explanation as to how the situation has come about.

OnTheWight has attempted to contact both the Island UKIP Chairman and Secretary, but at the time of publishing hasn’t heard back.

UPDATE 6:10pm – A short while after, UKIP leader, Nigel Farage issued a response.

Tuesday, 16th April, 2013 11:09am



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. I would have thought any such allegations should be raised officially with the returning officer, anything else looks like a smear campaign.

  2. nonpolitical

    16.Apr.2013 11:46am

    Taking this with the accusation the other day by the Tories about the Independents using a photo it does make you wonder what’s going on. Is this going to be a dirty campaign? I hope not.

  3. Robert Jones

    16.Apr.2013 12:57pm

    It is a potentially extremely serious offence, and for that reason the Returning Officer should be informed and should investigate urgently. But what I would not have done when I was an Election Agent was to pre-empt that process in any way, eg by publicizing the fact that an accusation had been made. IF it’s true, both the candidate concerned and his Agent will find out all too soon that they will suffer the consequences: if it isn’t true, there is nonetheless an implication that they acted improperly when in fact they didn’t, and that’s likely to damage their campaign.

    The Conservatives were right to pursue the complaint with the appropriate authorities, but I question their ethics in publicizing it at this point … and it may backfire badly.

  4. Rather than spending his time attempting to find fault with the minutiae of opponent’s admin, or election communications, wouldn’t Mr Wells’ ample time be better occupied engaging in grown-up debate about the issues that affect all of us?
    Watch out Labour and Lib-Dem candidates. You’re next!

  5. The Coal Man

    16.Apr.2013 1:41pm

    ‘… and it may backfire badly’

    Well, Well then I would suggest that Alan stops looking at the mantle-piece when he’s poking the fire in future!
    Silly Man.

  6. Victor Meldrew

    16.Apr.2013 1:55pm

    Perhaps the grate (sic) Alan Wells should’nt be in such a hurry to involve the police in an election issue, it could well blow up in his face and leave his mini-me dangerously exposed.

    Gerrymandering is a much more serious electoral offence and the he would be best off calling his own troops to order. Not only gerrymandering but failing to declare an interest does not go down well with electoral authorities.

    Shape up Big Al!

  7. I’m accusing the Island Conservatives of having spent the last eight years running the Isle of Wight into the ground. Who do I report THAT to?

    • Hi Steve,

      The island will be all right, if the Tories get back, they’ll outsource the lot to Hampshire. That’ll save the necessity of employing anyone other than Directors of Service of course, who’ll be needed to oversee thing.

      Oh happy days :-(

  8. Mmmm! 131 candidates x 10 nominators each x minimum of 4 pieces of data to verify = 5240 checks to be made against the electoral register that the nominator is qualified and against who-knows-where that the signature is valid.

    Who would have the time, inclination and access to the relevant information to carry out such checks? And why?

  9. OK. Let’s forget the provisions of the Data Protection Acts for Electoral registers for the moment and just “follow the money”.

    5240 letters at 50p each = £2620 of election expenses to be accounted for.

    Which candidates could afford those additional expenses out of their £600 + 5p per local government elector (average ward = 2500 x 5p = £125:) total £625)?

  10. Robert Jones

    16.Apr.2013 6:25pm

    Nomination papers are checked against the electoral register when handed in, to ensure the name of the nominator, seconder and assentors match the electoral number – and basically that they’re actually ON the register in the first place. The Agent him or herself will have checked the paper before submitting it. What is not obvious, of course, is whether a signature has been forged or not – but it would be an enormously stupid thing to do, since the names of these people are on record and the public, and other parties, can check them.

    If an allegation had been made to me, as a party Agent, that a name had been put forward without the knowledge of the elector, I would probably have had a word with my opposite number in the party from which the candidate came. It might be a slightly difficult conversation, but it would be fair to have it – and it would not be conducted in an atmosphere of threat: any professional agent would know that forging an elector’s signature is an extremely serious offence which could land him and his candidate in prison.

    In the highly unlikely event, back in my day, that I was not satisfied with the honesty of my opponent, I would inform him that I intended to refer matters to the Deputy Returning Officer. And I’d leave it there. What I would NOT do would be to leak our conversation to the press; I would do what I had to do, and get on with my own campaign. I find it hard to understand why any of this is yet in the public domain – it’s fair to no one concerned that it should be at this stage: and I can’t imagine what the Conservatives think they’re doing if – as I assume from the above report – they have leaked their letter to UKIP.

  11. As Darcy indicates, this is probably the start of Tory smear campaigning – just in time to affect voting, but too late to put the record straight until after election day.

    • Postal Voter

      29.Apr.2013 4:03pm

      Please can anybody confirm if any family members using a postal vote this week have also been sent any candidate’s election leaflets as well from the council?
      I was chatting with one of my daughters over the weekend, whilst they are at University and they happened to mention in passing that the letter from the council with their postal vote, reply letter/card, etc. also contained one of the three prospective candidate’s literature in the same envelope. We queried this with her and she replied it was only one leaflet and not three (who are standing in our ward) leaflets.
      We followed this up with our second daughter, also at University, and she said that she had received her postal vote and the details of one candidate only.
      We will be notifying The Returning Officer at the council this week but keen to know if this was an exception rather than the rule, if it is legal and proper.
      It sounds a bit odd and not fair though if I’m truly honest.

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