Say hello to Kim Rose, the UKIP candidate for Southampton Itchen. Kim likes sausage rolls and being an outgoing sort of fellow, likes to share them…
Which leads us to this week’s award for Ridiculous Election Story of the Week – because Kim is being investigated by the police for giving away – you guessed it – sausage rolls!
Electoral Commission rules state food and entertainment cannot be provided by parliamentary candidates if their provision is intended to influence votes – a criminal offence known as ‘treating’.
Mr Rose, 57, branded police involvement as ‘absolutely ridiculous’, adding that voters in the marginal seat were unlikely to ‘change their mind for a sausage roll’.
The Ukip candidate put on a spread of sandwiches, sausage rolls and teas and coffees for the event, which also saw veteran snooker player Jimmy White play pool with local youngsters.
Mr Rose, a jeweller, said he was oblivious until he was contacted by Hampshire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit. Laughing off the allegations, he said: ‘Thank God they didn’t find out about the Jaffa Cakes. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I’m sure people aren’t going to change their mind over voting for a sausage roll,’ although, frankly, voting for a sausage roll would be preferable to some of the arseholes that are putting themselves forward. (OK. I know that’s not what he meant…)
The Electoral Commission said the pastry provision was a police matter. A Hampshire Police spokesman said: ‘We have a received an allegation of “treating” by a prospective parliamentary candidate, contrary to the Representation of the People Act 1983. We are looking into the complaint. No arrests have been made.’
Electoral Commission rules on treating state: ‘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. ‘Treating requires a corrupt intent – it does not apply to ordinary hospitality.’
I know the other parties will try anything to scupper UKIP, but this sets a whole new level of desperation.
Vote sausage roll – you know it makes sense…!