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Earlier this week, Hackney’s decision to exclude Andrew Boffs election address, had the Tory mayoral candidate non too pleased with Hackney council.
The conservative mayoral candidate for Hackney claims his election address which was to appear in a Mayoral election booklet, to be sent out by Hackney council to all voters, was rejected because of a sentence “The Mayor and his Cabinet pay themselves £335,000 a year”, however he claims he was told the inclusion, would not pose a problem when he submitted his draft on 8 April, the day of the deadline.
Boff also claims his proposal to re-write it to read “Along with the pay of the Cabinet, the position of Mayor costs £335,000”, was rejected.
Per electoral statute laws: criticism of other candidates is not permitted in the mayoral address. However Boff says the Interim Electoral Services Manager, told him that, as the passage referred to the post rather than to the person, it would be fine.
On Monday 12 April, Boff received an email stating: “The election address submitted by yourself on Thursday 8 April is invalid and is rejected…The payment of £750 is forfeited and can only be returned if you should withdraw your candidature by the last time allowed for the withdrawal of candidature.”
However Boff says the Interim Electoral Services Manager, told him that, as the passage referred to the post rather than to the person, it would be fine, after he specifically drew attention to the particular paragraph.
“They are being entirely perverse and entirely partial,” said Mr Boff.
He went on to say, This comes in a long line of control freakery from the council to the point where it makes me wonder how fair the elections are going to be. I am concerned for my political rights.”
Hackney council said a few days later that Andrew Boff would be included in the list, however his election address which was deemed invalid, because it made references to another candidate, will be omitted.
Luke Akehurst, Labour councillor in Hackney and an agent for current Mayor Jules Pipe, responded to Mr Boffs complaints and those of his supporters by saying :
“Mr Boff has demonstrated he isn’t competent to be Mayor because he isn’t even able to submit a manifesto in the required format.
Your activists must privately be incredibly angry with your candidate for messing this up.
If Mr Boff’s message is so important he can do what political parties have always done and get volunteers to deliver it door-to-door.
But then maybe there aren’t enough Tories in Hackney to do that”.
Andrew Boff is also a conservative member of the London Assembly. He is a Londonwide member, representing all thirty-two boroughs and the City of London.
More about Andrew Boff