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Defeated election candidate wants opponent disqualified

Bryan Henderson
Bryan Henderson

A complaint alleging a breach of electoral law in last month’s elections has been made to the police about a Deal town councillor.

Cllr Bryan Henderson, who said this week he had not been contacted by the police, has been accused by one of his political opponents of making a false statement about his attendance at council meetings in a letter to the Mercury which was published on the day of the elections, Thursday, May 5.

In the letter, Labour Cllr Henderson, who beat Conservative Peter Jull in the North Deal ward poll by 75 votes, claimed he had the third highest attendance record on the council. Cllr
Henderson says he now accepts this claim may not be correct.

The complaint has been made by Mr Jull, of Southwall Road, Deal, who is calling for Cllr Henderson to be disqualified as a councillor.

Mr Jull said: "I went to police on the advice of the returning officer at Dover District Council.

"I think the breach of rules is so serious that he should be disqualified."

According to Mr Jull, Cllr Henderson’s statement that he has the third highest attendance is untrue and in breach of the Representation of the People Act 1983. The legislation regulates how a political party or an individual representing that party is to behave before and during an election.

Mr Jull complained to Acting Inspector Chris Gurney last week, and Mercury editor Graham Smith was questioned about the letter by PC Lee
Rowlinson in the Queen Street office last Wednesday.

Mr Jull added: "I don’t have a personal grudge. I’m doing this purely because he has broken the rules. I have reported it as a criminal act."

Cllr Henderson said: "This is bitter grapes on Mr Jull’s part because he lost. He has a vendetta against me and it is victimisation."

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