Thursday 8 December 2016

Tory not so sweet over cake row

Published 19/04/2015 | 11:31

Jesse Norman was photographed with boxes of treats while out campaigning this month
Jesse Norman was photographed with boxes of treats while out campaigning this month

A Conservative standing for re-election has dismissed as "nonsense" claims that he attempted to sway potential voters with cake.

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Jesse Norman, who is standing in the Hereford and South Herefordshire constituency, was photographed with boxes of treats while out campaigning this month.

Police are reportedly investigating after Mr Norman was shown sat at a table in an Asda store with a box of chocolate muffins, what appeared to be a tray of cherry Bakewells and other confections open beside him.

It comes after Ukip candidate Kim Rose, who is standing in Southampton Itchen, was told by police he would face no further action over allegations he laid on sausage rolls and Jaffa Cakes at an event in February.

Known as "treating", the practice is barred under election rules as it could be seen as inducing voters to cast their ballots one way or another.

Electoral Commission rules say 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".

Mr Norman, who won the seat in 2010, called the claims "nonsense".

He said: "We had a couple of small boxes of chocolate muffins and suchlike. We may have given one or two out to children, who are not even voters."

Press Association

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