Southampton Itchen’s UKIP Candidate has been accused of influencing votes by giving away free sausage rolls at a campaigning event.
Kim Rose invited youngsters to play pool with Snooker legend Jim White. Adults were charged £2, and Rose laid out food for his guests.
Mr Rose argued that he did nothing wrong. He told the BBC:
It was fantastic day. We laid on teas, coffees, sandwiches and some sausage rolls. Now I’ve been reported for allegations of treating.
Maybe it’s a bit naive but all the intentions were good.
It’s absolutely ridiculous. I’m sure people aren’t going to change their mind for a sausage roll
The event in question was held on the 21st of February, and Rose describes veteran White as a long-time friend.
The Electoral Commission says:
A person is guilty of treating if… 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.
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage, campaigning in his constituency of South Thanet, said that the situation was “utter nonsense”, adding:
There seems all sorts of cases in politics of people behaving badly and doing things wrong, abusing their positions. Having a few sausage rolls I don’t really think counts as one of those
Is this the most ridiculous thing you’ve heard so far in the election? Let us know in the comments below!