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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Hornsey & Wood Green election candidate to issue retraction letter after publishing … a lie

A Hornsey & Wood Green election candidate is expected to issue a retraction letter after publishing untruth.

This, in one of the country's most marginal electorates. The consequences of breaching Section 106 of the Representation of the People Act (1983) can be severe:

Guardian story.

If a retraction letter is not sent out to those residents whom her Party sought to mislead, there's likely to be a visit to libel lawyers, tomorrow (Monday).

Clive Carter
Liberal Democrat Councillor

Tags for Forum Posts: Representation of the People Act (1983), dirty tricks, false, information, lie, smear, spin, untruth

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Monday is a bank holiday.

And Thursday is Election Day, which accounts for the urgency of a retraction. I'd be surprised if the other Party have not been in touch with their own libel lawyers today (Sunday).

They urgently need professional advice. I'm not a lawyer but I would have thought that the sentence in question meets any prima facie test for libel: the lie is

  • provably untrue
  • directed against an individual
  • is printed, published and distributed
  • sent to (numerous) named, individual voters on the Electoral Register
  • intended to damage an individual's reputation
  • Intended to mislead in the context of an election campaign

The Guardian story makes clear what's at stake. It's disappointing that this Party's general negativity had to descend to this. There is still time to take corrective action (and a judge would note that, were the opportunity not taken). However, my guess is that the Party will run the risk of first winning the seat (partly on the back of a lie) and then forfeiting the seat (as happened to Woolas).

Clive, thank you for posting this.

What a shame that it seems that Haringey Labour can do no wrong in the eyes of so many people, despite the fraudulent selection process in St Ann's last year and now another shocking piece of dishonesty. It saddens me that some people can't acknowledge that a wrong has been done and can only attack the person wronged

It's very sad that it means more to people to "teach the Libdems a lesson" than to re-elect good, decent hardworking people who give over huge amounts of their time to serving and delivering to the local community. David Schmitz and I fell foul of this at last years council's elections. What did Harringay gain out of that? The loss of two hard working effective cllrs who constantly delivered for the community and the gain of three Labour councillors who have very little to show for their year in office (and that is resident's telling their views, not just mine).

There is a saying, "you get what you deserve". If we lose Lynne Featherstone next week because people's judgement is clouded by national issues rather then her record of delivery and as a first class constituency MP then Haringey will be very must poorer for that loss.

Karen it is quite reasonable to be upset, but the fault does not lie with Labour. Your leaders have betrayed you. Your party is not democratic, and you do not control it. Its the same with Labour. There are many good people in Labour AND the Libdems, but both exist in sham parties where the leaders make all the decisions and have hollowed out the parties, leaving the members adrift. Why not consider joining the Greens, where the members elect the representatives and make the policy?

What matters right now is to stop the Tories. Allowing another LD back into parliament reduces the chance for a Labour majority. You say Lynne Featherstone has been a brilliant local MP, and yes, she has done some useful things re Equalities (and made some mistakes there) but she will lose because her party has colluded with the Tories to deliberately decimate the welfare state and sell off very nearly half of the NHS.  Catherine West has proved her abilities as leader of  Islington council (defining 'leader' in a different way from the Dear Leader in Haringey).  She will be a good MP for H+WG and may even manage to pull Lammy to the left a bit.

Hi Karen,

Agree with the points you make. There'll doubtless be at least some decent members and supporters of the Labour Party in question who will be as disgusted as we are, that their Party attempts to win on the back of lies, but few will have the integrity to say so publicly.

It is sad that some contributors to this thread seem bent on minimising the libel, or don’t even care. One wonders how those same people would feel about doping in sport. The Party itself however, appears now to recognise the seriousness of its misconduct.

This Party will have it's work cut out to distribute any retraction letter. It’s likely to be a large number over a wide area. I know two recipients of the disgraceful communication who live in parts of the Electorate that are widely separated. I intend to check with them in the next couple of days to see what, if anything, they receive and when.

Several have urged Lynne Featherstone, in any event, to go to the Police.

Ordinarily, libel is a civil matter. What is not grasped by some contributors here, however, is that in the context of an election campaign, the Representation of the People Act (1983) would appear to make this conduct, criminal.

Lynne will, as other Libdems be judged largely on the role in the Coalition and as such fully deserves to lose. what is sad is the pathetic state of the Labour Party which has turned it's back on its founding values. A strong Green vote is likely

This is Green supporters' chance to work with the other anti-Tory parties to realise that this is a classic case where voting with your first choice will bring in your worst choice.  A Green surge in H+WG that lets another LibDem into parliament is a vote for a Tory majority.  Vote Green, get blue.  Our non-representative voting system means you need to be strategic this time - but the next government will have to recognise that we will be unlikely to revert to the ping-pong governments of the last century.  Push again for real PR, Euro and mayoral elections count all votes, Greens are a rising force and, FFS if we don't act urgently on climate change the House of Commons will have been flooded in a few years so a Green-ward swing will become inevitable. A strong overall Green vote from safe seats like Tottenham will be counted and noted.

Gordon Peters has been on fire at Hustings representing the Green Party, and his genuine sincerity has been very moving, Catherine west has been impressive as well, sharing her thoughts on the St Ann's Hospital Sell off, which will affect her constituents in Hornsey and Wood Green.

Well Karen if it's any consolation, one of the reasons they are struggling now in H&WG is because of how Haringey Labour campaigned in 2014. They banged on about national issues because they were so poor locally and that just isn't having the effect the second time around, despite being appropriate.

John, Betfair comments here 

(N.B. this isn't a website I frequent. I'm not usually a gambling man ... but I'm tempted)

Maybe it was an error, not a 'lie'?

Anyway, they are all at it, being economical with the truth, I mean. At a recent H&WG hustings, a lib dem activist was trying to pretend that she was just an ordinary member of the audience, not an activist at all, ( im fact she got quite shouty about it) whilst simultaneously Tweeting from a lib dem activist account! Unfortunately for them, the woman in question must've forgotten that she had her own photo as the lib-dem account Twitter photo, and she was also unaware that I was sat immediately behind her whilst she tweeted.

Anyway, many people in H&WG (non-activists!) are dearly hoping that we get rid of Lynn this week.

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