When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
East Lancashire MP cleared of voter bullying
6:00pm Thursday 30th August 2012 in News
AN EAST Lancashire MP has been cleared of claims that he intimidated voters at elections this year.
Lancashire Police launched an investigation into allegations Labour’s Graham Jones used “threatening behaviour” towards Barnfield ward residents in Accrington.
Now police said that after completing an investigation and reviewing all evidence, there is no action to be taken against Mr Jones.
A letter from DI Jill Johnston to Mr Jones thanks him for his co-operation and said that following the “lengthy and complex investigation” the police had opted not to act.
She said: “The investigation is now complete and having fully reviewed all of the evidence available the police have decided to take no action against you.”
Mr Jones said that police contacted him advising him the matter was to be dropped without even asking him in for interview. He said: “I always knew it would be, and that nothing would come of it, because they were just bogus and malicious claims.
“The police told me they interviewed 70 people and found no witnesses to the claims made against me.
“They were all third party claims based on nothing. I think the police have made a good decision and have avoided wasting further time on this matter.”
The investigation was launched around the same time as an investigation into proxy votes was launched in Hyndburn and Blackburn.
It is understood that police investigated this matter separately after allegations that voters were persuaded to allow someone they did not know to act on their behalf.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said the investigation on proxy votes in Hyndburn and Blackburn was ongoing.
Council bosses in Pendle have established a special panel to examine postal and proxy voting after concerns were raised in the borough after the last local elections.
Five sessions have been arranged in Nelson, Colne, Barrowford, Barnoldswick and Barnoldswick to enable voters and councillors to air their views.