Respect party make ‘costly’ vote blunder

WHEN it comes to local elections, it seems that Respect works both ways.

Following last month’s Bradford by-election which saw George Galloway returning to the Commons, The Respect Party has been busy canvassing those in South Bradford about their views on having an elected mayor in the city.

However, to Spen folks’ surprise, the leaflets have also been distributed in Cleckheaton – where there are no plans for a directly elected mayor in Kirklees.

The leaflets were urging voters to tick ‘yes’ when they visited the ballot boxes yesterday.

The blunder was spotted by Labour’s local election candidate for Cleckheaton, Dan Howard.

He said: “Hundreds of these leaflets have been commercially delivered across Cleckheaton ward on Friday night urging people to vote yes in the referendum, of course no one in Kirklees will be voting in the referendum!

“They’ve caused a fair amount of confusion – people don’t understand why they’re being told they’ll get a say on Bradford’s referendum when they live in Kirklees.

“The confusion seems to have been further compounded by the on going review of parliamentary boundaries. “

The Boundary Commission for England is still reviewing plans to change constituency boundaries across the country.

Under current proposals, Cleckheaton would be absorbed into Bradford.

Mr Howard said: “The Government’s review of parliamentary boundaries proposes putting Cleckheaton into Bradford for voting at the next general election. Submissions from the Conservatives and Lib Dems propose more or less the same thing.

“A number of people thought these leaflets were a consequence of this. We have been reassuring people that it’s a mistake, albeit a costly one for Respect.”

Waseem Matloob, owner of direct marketing firm Door2Door, sent the leaflets out on behalf of Respect.

He has apologised for the confusion caused to residents who received the flyers.

He said: “With Cleckheaton being in the BD19 postcode area, we assumed that it was in the Bradford District.

“We were unaware it was within Kirklees Council.

“If we had been aware of that, we would have avoided sending them to homes in Cleckheaton.

“We want to apologise to the people in Cleckheaton for the confusion caused.”