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LIB DEMS DELAY ELECTION CAMPAIGN AS 60 HARROW CANDIDATES BARRED

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The Liberal Democrat Party's local election effort is in disarray after 60 candidates were banned and it postponed ...
The Liberal Democrat Party's local election effort is in disarray after 60 candidates were banned and it postponed the launch of its campaign.

Candidates for Harrow LBC were banned from standing after they put the wrong party name on their nomination paper.

The group routinely refers to itself as the Lib Dem focus team, after the Lib Dem Focus newsletter, and candidates put this down on their election certificates.

Harrow's returning officer challenged their candidacies under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, which seeks to prevent bogus candidates. Harrow is a Labour council by one seat.

An injunction has been granted to the group preventing the election going any further before a High Court hearing, due to take place this week (see LGCnetfor result).

The national party has postponed its campaign, due to be launched this week, and moved it from the National Liberal Club to the House of Commons. The new location would be closer to the press gallery, a spokesman claimed.

Hackney LBC Lib Dems are suffering a shortage of candidates, contesting only 26 out of 57 seats. There were 27 candidates, but an administrative error meant one could not stand.

Group leader Andrew Bridgwater said the party was simply targeting the seats where it could win.

He added: 'How many people are keen to run for a council like Hackney which has had the most extraordinary range and scope of problems over the past few years? I think you will find all the parties are having problems.'

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