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BID TO OVERTURN VOTE BAN FAILS

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A would-be Labour councillor whose election was declared void because he took part in a BBC broadcast days before p...
A would-be Labour councillor whose election was declared void because he took part in a BBC broadcast days before polling has failed to clear his name at the Court of Appeal.

Brian Loveridge was banned in June 1996 from voting or standing as an election candidate for five years after being found guilty of an offence under the Representation of the People Act 1983, despite his protests that he had no idea his actions were prohibited under electoral law.

The former miner is now considering taking his case to Europe.

The appeal court heard that Mr Loveridge, described by the election court which found him guilty as an 'exemplary character', broke the rules when he stood as a candidate in a Rhondda Cynon Taff by-election in November 1995.

Mr Loveridge was declared the winner of the Aberamon ward contest, polling 687 votes against rival Plaid Cymru candidate Howard Davies' 686. But after the election there was a complaint that he had given an interview to the BBC which was broadcast the day before the poll.

The interview concerned a waste tip site and was recorded five days earlier. It was argued that Mr Loveridge's participation breached electoral law because permission had not been given by the rival candidate, even though the broadcast contained no reference to the coming election.

Mr Loveridge's counsel, David Bean QC, said his client maintained he never intended to influence voters.

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