George Galloway is on the campaign trail as a candidate now that Parliament has been dissolved – he is not an MP. Yet he persistently breaks electoral law by handing out leaflets which refer to him as an MP as well as failing to notify his website’s visitors that he is now no longer an elected representative.
Here is the latest Bradford West Life leaflet, currently being distributed by George Galloway for the election.
Note the line: “Monthly newsletter of George Galloway MP”
Photos from the 5th and 6th of April.
Quite clearly the leaflet refers to Galloway as an MP. That is despite this concise law on how members should refer to themselves during the Dissolution of Parliament. Furthermore photos taken on the 5th and 6th of April, which is cemented firmly in the short campaign, misrepresent Mr Galloway’s former MP status as current. This is a clear breach of electoral law.
1.2 During the period when Parliament is dissolved before a General Election there are no Members of Parliament. Consequently you may not use that title during this period. From 5pm on the day of dissolution until you are re-elected, the facilities that the House provides for Members in Westminster during a Parliament will not be available to you.
But as stated above, it’s not just on leaflets that Galloway has made an error. As we reported yesterday, the Bradford West candidate’s website also states that he remains an MP, which breaks protocol yet again.
2.10 All Members’ websites must bear a clear disclaimer throughout the dissolution period which makes it clear that the website was established while you were a Member of Parliament and that you are, until re-elected, no longer a Member of Parliament. The disclaimer should read:
“This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. As Parliament has been dissolved there are no Members of Parliament until after the election on XX XXX 2010″
These terms have not been adhered to by Galloway, and his failure to comply with basic rules may have given him an unfair advantage in Bradford West. We hope he changes his website and stops delivering misrepresentative leaflets at the earliest moment.