Essex Labour hopeful Sue Shinnick took cakes to a sheltered housing complex
She won a seat in Essex ward and was accused of 'treating' -
Treating - an attempt to influence votes - which breaks electoral law
An Essex councillor could face a year in prison because she bought pensioners tea and cake before a vote. Labour's Sue Shinnick took the baked goods to a sheltered housing complex before winning her seat in Stifford Clays.
Her act of hospitality backfired, after someone reported her to police accusing her of 'treating' - which means an attempt to influence votes - and by doing so breaks electoral law.
Now Essex Police are investigating the accusation, which comes under Section 114 of the Representation of the People Act 1983.
If found guilty she could be imprisoned for up to a year and/ or face a fine.
'A person is guilty of treating if either before, during or after an election they directly or indirectly give or provide any food, drink, entertainment or provision to corruptly influence any voter to vote or refrain from voting,'
The police are responsible for investigating any allegations of electoral fraud.
Every police force in the UK has an identified Single Point of Contact Officer (or SPOC) for electoral fraud, who provides specialist support and advice to investigators.
It is understood that there will not be a dedicated force for this investigation.
An Essex Police spokesman said: 'Police are continuing to investigate an allegation of treating in Thurrock'.
The by-election called in Stifford Clays following the passing of Diana Hale.
Cllr Shinnick won the ward on October 17th with a majority of just 76. This compares with a majority of 354 in 2011.
The above will of course be of keen interest to cohorts of Cllr Turnip, and possibly other Stanground councillors, who over the years have allegedly driven several very large horses and carts (possibly loaded with biomass) through process.
Anyone with detailed information PBROTRIB would be interested.
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