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No laughing matter………

September 10, 2011

According to his reported remarks in this week’s Surrey Comet, Roger Hayes is inclined to treat the letter he has received from our solicitor as a stunt. We assure him and his candidate that this is no stunt and we intend to be taken very seriously.

He has published a ‘Focus’ leaflet in which

John Ayles explains “The Conservative candidate in this by-election was a leading opponent of the new school and backer of their own nonsensical plans. Why on earth did he want to stop a new school in his own ward, or want to kick elderly people out of a home and see a valuable community asset sold off.”

This statement is untrue and defamatory. Further Mr. Ayles is now implicated with him as the author of this untrue and defamatory statement.

Nick Kilby has never been opposed to a new school in this area.  In fact he was one of the local representatives who at the time led demands that the Liberal Democrat Council recognise the need for primary school places across the Borough, and provide a new school in this area.  He has consistently been in favour of this provision.  He has also never articulated his support in word or print for any proposal to sell off any community asset or old people’s home, and to assert that he was willing to “kick elderly people out of their home” is a blatant lie. What is more Nick was at great pains to point this out the first time Mr. Ayles uttered this statement.

This is not, as the Comet has it, ‘a spat’. It is a serious matter, as our further advice tells us

‘the issues that you have raised may require investigation by the Police because the making of false statements, and a failure to display the required details on an election publication, are both election related criminal offences under the Representation of the People Act, 1983.’ 

The other issue by the way is the widespread issue of another ‘Focus’ leaflet in the ward during the election campaign, which does not bear the identifying marks which election law requires. Mr. Hayes is responsible in law for the conduct of his candidate’s campaign.

The Liberal Democrats of all people should be aware of how seriously the Law now takes the uttering of false statements about rival candidates. It was on their petition that Phil Woolas (Lab. Oldham East and Saddleworth) was recently deprived of his parliamentary seat for just such an offence as that allegedly committed by Mr. Ayles and his agent.

The electors of Surbiton Hill should be aware of this. If you vote Liberal Democrat, this is the kind of thing you’re voting for.

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