Southend News Network can officially confirm that a complaint has been upheld by the Electoral Commission after the Chief Reporter referred to Labour candidate for Prittlewell Ward Mike Fieldhouse as a ‘prat’ on Facebook. The observation was made after Mr Fieldhouse described a row of vacant bricked-up shops as an ‘eyesore’ in spite of the artwork added by the world-famous artist John Bulley. According to the text of the complaint, Southend News Network has more than 13,000 fans on Facebook, and as such there is the potential for other people to think of both the candidate as a prat, and the wider Labour Party as a large collection of prats – we apologise thoroughly if any other candidates have come across as less of a prat as a result of our reckless posting.
As we accept that electoral guidelines have been breached on this occasion, we fully accept the complaint and any resulting sanctions that are applied to Southend News Network. After discussions with the Electoral Commission, it has been agreed that this statement and apology is sufficient as it is a ‘first offence,’ and as such no further action will be taken. Also, under the terms of these sanctions, Southend News Network is obliged to declare that the following candidates are also prats on the same level of prattishness as Mr Fieldhouse.
PRITTLEWELL WARD CANDIDATES – Local Councillor Elections 2016
- Mary Ann Betson (Lib Dem) – Prat
- Bob Gage (UKIP) – Prat
- David Alexander Garston (Con) – Prat
- Paul Martin Ryder (Ind) – Prat
- Abbie-Jade Sutherland (Green) – Prat
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