Police asked to investigate Young Britons’ Foundation

The leafleting and press advertising campaign against a hung Parliament by the Young Britons’ Foundation has run into a mini-blizzard of legal queries and complaints

Given at least one newspaper advertisement today and how widespread the leafleting campaign has been (as partly documented by Paul Walters), including several reports that at least some of the leafleting is being carried out by paid-for delivery firms, it is extremely likely that the YBF has incurred costs in excess of the £10,000 limit.

However, whilst this would require registration as a “third party” with the Commission, and the Young Britons’ Foundation Chief Executive Donal Blaney told me earlier in the day that, “I confirm that YBF is registered as a recognised third party”, according to the Electoral Commission, who I spoke to subsequently, the Young Britons’ Foundation is not currently registered.

It would appear that an application is currently being processed, which given the legal provisions about registrations coming into force when “received” by the Electoral Commission, may put the YBF in the clear on this point. However, if the application was sent in after the first financial commitments were entered in to there may still be questions to resolve. As I understand it, at least two separate complaints have gone in to the Electoral Commission already on this issue so more light should be shed on this matter soon.

That, however, is not the only legal issue faced by the Young Britons’ Foundation. Many (if not all) of the leaflets distributed so far have lacked the usual imprint information, which third party leaflets are required to have just like candidate and party leaflets if they promote or oppose any parties or candidates (even if they also have other purposes too). At least one Returning Officer in an area where the leaflets have gone out has asked the police to investigate this.

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10 Comments

  • Straight out of the Rep8blicn “how to steal an election” textbook. The Tories really are desperate. I wouldnt be surprised to see some chads missing from my ballot paper on Thursday…

  • I received this leaflet yesterday morning but didn’t see who delivered it. As someone who is reasonably politically aware I know that it is intended to garner support for the Conservative Party, but as it doesn’t actually suggest which party should vote for I wouldn’t have thought that it would contravene election law. Obviously it is rather late in the day to respond, but as the Young Britons’ Foundation is an extremely nasty Tory entryist organisation it seems quite appropriate in areas where their literature is being distributed to ask whether the Tory candidate is a supporter of the Foundation; whether he or she has been on any of their training events; whether they support their objectives (which include the dismantling of the NHS); whether distribution of their literature is being done by local Conservative Party members; whether they repudiate this organisation; etc. Maybe I am naive, but I would think that their neo-fascist iconography would put off more people than it would persuade. But be warned – these people are right there behind fluffy patrician Dave.

  • Donal Blaney has trolled on Lib Dem Voice on at least one occasion. He is confrontational and personally abusive in a playground bully kind of way. Who is putting up the money for this? Who is behind Blaney? And why does Cameron tolerate his behaviour?

  • I got this yesterday in Canterbury – very expensive print job on card .

  • No imprint at all, just a website.

    As a “non-partisan, not for profit educational research and training organisation that promotes Conservatism in school colleges and universities”

    How non-partisan is promoting Conservatism ?

    Educational resaerch ? Must be the poster you can download with a picture of a woman with the slogan “Life’s better under a Conservative” {How 80’s Conseravtiev students}

    Not for profit – Amazing how all these free market think tanks don’t like free markets. Instead it the usually system of Tory patronage and sppecial state support.

    But the fundamental message – a hung Parliament is weak – well, that’s quite amazing – after all, we’ve had “strong” Government since 1979, but apparently, the last 13 yeras haven’t been any good.

  • Guildford Voter 5th May '10 - 2:30pm

    On a practical note, what is the best way to react to this? We got one of these leaflets yesterday (apparently there are 500,000 being delivered if you believe the YBF website) and it doesn’t seem right that a person/group can carry out campaigning that is clearly in favour of a particular party without having to advertise which party that is.
    Clearly writing to the returning officer of a Tory-run Council isn’t exactly going to get me very far – any suggestions? The Electoral Commission website isn’t exactly a user-friendly interface for such queries. Thanks.

  • Kenneth Perry 5th May '10 - 9:17pm

    I am 92. Prior to receiving the leaflet I had not heard of this organisation,but their message made we want to tell them that the worst Government so far in my lfetime was the strongest in terms of a majority. This was the National Goverrnment of 1931 which inflicted years of misey by dealing with the Great Deporession by cuts alone. The USA where, as now, the trouble started got out of the Depression much more quickly by Roposevelt’s E.R.A Programme of massive Government spending. It was so successful that the Republicans had to get the Supreme Court to bring it to a halt as Unconstitutional. Perhaps this was as well as the Programme mihjt have overreached itself Era like the
    Labour’s Nationalisations of 1945-51. I write this as this British Foundation’s website says it is an unbiased Research organisation.

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