Kerry McCarthy MP cautioned for illegally revealing postal vote results on Twitter

Screenshot of Kerry McCarthy's illegal tweet, retweetedKerry McCarthy, the Labour MP who illegally revealed postal vote results on Twitter in April, has been given a police caution.

Labour’s “Twitter Tsar” and a qualified solicitor, has avoided a fine or a six month prison sentence for the offence. She deleted her original post after a few minutes, but not before it had been spread around the internet.

From the Guardian:

She boasted to thousands of followers that an early batch showed Labour receiving far more support in her constituency than the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats – providing figures to back up her claim.

But after a string of replies pointing out that it was against the law to disclose general election results before the final 6 May count, McCarthy removed the post, admitting she had been “thoughtless”.

Section 66 of the 1983 Representation of the People Act forbids “any statement relating to the way in which voters have voted at the election” before polls close.

The maximum punishment for breaking the law is six months imprisonment or a fine of £5,000. But it was disclosed today that the shadow Treasury minister had accepted a police caution.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Election law and News.
Advert

2 Comments

  • I don’t understand this case. Firstly, I don’t understand how an experienced politician can be “thoughtless” like this. Secondly, I don’t understand how McCarthy was merely given a caution. And lastly, I don’t understand what this means for the future of this offence – I can forsee plenty of occasions when a less-than-moral candidate / agent / campaigner might decide that it’s worth taking a caution for the electoral advantage of spreading this information.

    At the risk of being whinging and priggish, I really hate that this sort of offence is treated so lightly. I have reported a case where another party has printed and distributed leaflets with the Lib Dem imprint. But the nice detective who took my statement said it wasn’t high priority as it was “only imprint law”. I believe the same team committed many other minor electoral infringements over that and 3 other general elections and plenty more local elections. On another occasion, another party was bang to rights on some pretty substantial postal ballot fraud. I believe that the police had ample evidence – down to fingerprints. Yet it was deemed “not in the public interest” to prosecute.

    Each time they get away with these minor infringements, and each time they are encouraged to get dirtier and dirtier.

    I do not discount there being some dodgy Lib Dems out there – it’s a big party – but I have not seen it, or I would have taken action. I think that this sort of thing really does need to be stamped on,

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJulian Tisi 26th Feb - 1:26pm
    @TCO "Labour spent he last decade being “outraged” about austerity, and it got them precisely nowhere. Part of the reason Alexander Johnson won is that...
  • User AvatarStuart Bourne 26th Feb - 1:20pm
    Andy Hilton - TBH I’m not sure about this. One possibility is that it would be similar to commons committee, but definitely with a cross...
  • User AvatarPaul Tyler 26th Feb - 1:15pm
    These very welcome new ideas for reforming the second half of our legislature need renewed attention. Just because the 2012 Reform Bill - introduced by...
  • User AvatarJohnny McDermott 26th Feb - 1:11pm
    Yousuf Farah: been considering that balance, particularly given in the discussion it’s clear we are likely to need to engage in a “fight” sooner or...
  • User AvatarJohnny McDermott 26th Feb - 1:04pm
    David Raw makes good points on structure. Interesting discussion starting on the Lords on a new post on LDV today. Agreed with TCO - we...
  • User AvatarJohnny McDermott 26th Feb - 1:03pm
    Peter - good point on oil. Their economic model relied on it, whatever else they said. The crash in prices immediately after the referendum was...