Sunday, June 06, 2010

More on Lib Dem complaints against Phil Woolas

Last week I wrote about Liberal Democrat attempts to have the election result in Oldham East and Saddleworth overturned.

Asif Ansari, in a report for the North West edition of the BBC Politics Show, has more detail on our complaints:

In the last few days of the campaign, Labour put out a small newspaper which was predominantly an attack on their Liberal Democrat opponent, Elwyn Watkins.

Mr Watkins believes the leaflet falsely portrayed him as a politician courting votes from militant Muslims; not a group known to be particularly supportive of British democracy.

"Why are the extremists urging a vote for Watkins?" asked Labour.

Still-undecided voters had the option to read the backpage which moved onto financial matters.

This reported Mr Watkins to be personal assistant to Saudi Arabian billionaire, Sheikh Abdullah Ali Alhamrani.

It helpfully pointed out: "Political donations from overseas are illegal. Even the Ashcroft money can't match a Sheikh."

It was not entirely clear what Sheikh Abdulah's interest would have been in Oldham East and Saddleworth. But putting that to one side, the clear impression was that Middle East money was oiling the Lib Dem campaign.

I shall keep an eye open for the video of his report.

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