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Medway logo dispute could have ended in Court of Chivalry

By Ed McConnell

Faced with the prospect of a legal duel belonging to a forgotten era Medway’s newest political party decided to yield.

Days after Medway People’s Voice (MPV) had unveiled its logo, Medway Council’s legal department had asked for it to be changed as it bore the authority’s coat of arms.

MPV hopes its vow to be free of “national party dogma” while pursuing “common sense” politics will result in success at May’s elections and therefore felt it was prudent to agree to the council’s request.

Medway People's Voice logo (6366452)
Medway People's Voice logo (6366452)

The alternative, says founder and former Ukip member Chris Spalding, could have been a costly court battle at the archaically named Court of Chivalry.

He explained: “We’d asked if we could use the crest and then sent off an email before Christmas but when we received no response and having sought advice we decided to go with it.”

He claims it wasn’t until political blogger Ed Jennings questioned the use of the coat of arms that the council’s chief legal officer, Perry Holmes, got in touch.

Chris Spalding and independent councillor Mick Pendergast set up MPV
Chris Spalding and independent councillor Mick Pendergast set up MPV

Mr Spalding said: “The council suggested there was a ‘heraldic infringement’. The use of the arms was granted to Medway Council alone and this is protected by heraldic law.”

An argument over a breach of heraldic law takes place in the Court of Chivalry - which has not sat since 1954.

Perry Holmes wrote to Chris Spalding politely requesting Medway People's Voice don't use the council's coat of arms. Cartoon: Royston Robertson (6400972)
Perry Holmes wrote to Chris Spalding politely requesting Medway People's Voice don't use the council's coat of arms. Cartoon: Royston Robertson (6400972)

Mr Spalding added: “The last time the court sat most of the debate was about whether it still existed as before that it hadn’t been in session for about 300 years.

“As we’re a common sense party we thought it was expedient to change the logo. The alternative would have resulted in a considerable waste of resources and money for the council.”

Medway Council's chief legal officer Perry Holmes wrote to MPV
Medway Council's chief legal officer Perry Holmes wrote to MPV

MPV, which held its first meeting last week, will now draw up an alternative badge and submit it to the Electoral Commission for approval this week.

Mr Spalding said off the back of a previous article in this paper he was contacted by three people in one day who were keen to stand in May’s election. He’s previously claimed the party already had 23 candidates lined up.

Medway Council said it does not comment on political matters.

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