Lib Dem PPC resigns over e-mail allegations

David Jack, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Stoke-on-Trent North, resigned yesterday after accusations that he sent a racist email to a constituent (but see update below).

David cited professional and personal issues as the reason for his decision to step down, but last night’s Channel 4 News gave details of an email allegedly sent by Mr Jack, which contained racist and abusive language. He has denied sending the email, claiming he was out drinking with friends at the time the email was sent.

The former candidate is involved in a legal dispute with a number of companies as a result of exposing an alleged financial scam on the local Liberal Democrats web site, and claims that he is the victim of a smear campaign related to his campaigning.

Christine Grocock, who was Chair of the Stoke-on-Trent local party until the end of 2009, said:

“I am very surprised at these allegations and disappointed that David has had to resign. We are now waiting for the party to report on what will happen next”.

Parliamentary candidate for Stoke-on-Trent South and Deputy Leader of the Lib Dem council group Zulfiqar Ali, was also surprised at the nature of the allegations. He said:

“David was always very friendly and we had a good working relationship. He always treated me with respect and I never had any reason to believe he was racist”.

The Liberal Democrats have announced that they will be investigating the claims made against Mr Jack and will report their findings at a later date.

UPDATE (2011): After a lengthy police investigation, including inspection of his IT equipment, David Jack was completely cleared of the claim that he had sent a racist email. He has subsequently rejoined the party and is standing as a candidate in May’s elections.

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  • Does anyone really believe Jack is the innocent victim in all of this?

  • Andrew Suffield 20th Jan '10 - 10:53am

    It’s actually not that hard for somebody to come up with compelling (albeit circumstantial) evidence about this sort of thing, one way or another; while emails can trivially be forged well enough to convince a typical user, it is prohibitively hard to convince an expert. I’m a little surprised this hasn’t already been done, it shouldn’t take more than an hour or so.

  • According to Channel 4 News he claims to have been “out on the lash” at the time the email was sent.

    Sounds like a superb candidate all round then.

  • The Channel 4 report suggested that “out on the lash” was a direct quote. If that’s the case (and I find it hard to imagine them choosing that phrase otherwise), then I think it demonstrates a remarkable lack of judgement.

  • Simon Courtenage 20th Jan '10 - 12:39pm

    From addresses can be faked, but not the routing info. Also, to further muddy the waters, anyone with a decent 3G phone can send email from a pub – you’re not tied to a specific machine in order to send email. We also don’t know who has the username and password of this “official” email account – what does “official email account” mean in this context? His personal email, his PPC email account? If the latter, the login details may be known to more than one person. On the other hand, if it was hacked into, the ISP will surely have a record of repeated failed attempts to login?

    A really murky story.

  • The sundry spelling mistakes and solecisms (including a failure to use the subjunctive in the opening sentence) do not look as though they come from the pen of a Lib Dem PPC. This is the kind of thing an angry drunk of below average intelligence would write. I would be most surprised if Mr Jack had anything to do with it.

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