By-election candidate 'misled' voters in campaign, claims rival - The Evesham Observer

By-election candidate 'misled' voters in campaign, claims rival

Evesham Editorial 5th May, 2017 Updated: 5th May, 2017   0

A FURIOUS war or words has broken out between two rival candidates in the Evesham South by-election over claims the Conservative candidate falsely stated he was ‘born and bred’ in the town.

Emma Nishigaki, who stood as an independent candidate in the Wychavon District Council by-election yesterday (Thursday) accused her Conservative rival, Matt Snape, of ‘misleading’ voters over his claim on his campaign literature that he was ‘born and bred’ in Evesham.

But Mr Snape angrily hit back at her claims and said the comment was a ‘minor error’ which he was happy to clarify when asked about it.

According to the Electoral Commission, the independent body which sets standards for running elections, it is not an offence for a candidate to make false claims about themselves on their campaign leaflets.

But speaking to the Observer, Mrs Nishigaki said: “I have been informed by several people suggesting that he is not being truthful.

“I have nothing against him personally, but it is only fair that all candidates are honest.

“It appears that the law allows people to say anything they like on their literature without redress.

“Matt’s Facebook states he is from Eckington and yet he states he is Evesham ‘born and bred’; both can not be true.

“I am horrified that a Conservative candidate can gain political advantage by misleading the electorate.”

However, in response Mr Snape said: “It was a minor error on the leaflet. I was born Ronkswood Hospital and whenever people have asked me about it, I have clarified that information to anyone concerned.

Mr Snape also told the Observer he lived in a number of village surrounding Evesham, all within the Wychavon district and attended local schools such as Prince Henry’s High School.

“At the end of the day, the people of Evesham South deserve a councillor who is not going to enter into a mud-slinging match with their opponents.

“What they care about is the issues that matter to them, like whether a new housing development has been approved, or if their council tax goes up.

“And I have been going out there campaigning on these issues and discussing them with voters I have bumped into along the way. They do not care about petty errors on leaflets.

“All I will say about Emma’s comment is that I am disappointed a highly respected local figure should pick me up on a minor error rather than debate policy with me.

“I would like to thank my other opponents for not resorting to that level,” he added.

The result for the by-election will be announced today (Friday).

Visit to find out the result from both the by-election and from the Worcestershire County Council elections.

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