Labour official investigated over postal votes count

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Labour’s media ‘tsar’ is facing a police investigation after she revealed results from a postal vote sample….

Labour’s media ‘tsar’ is facing a police investigation after she revealed results from a postal vote sample.

Kerry McCarthy, who is also the Labour candidate for Bristol East, was reported to police by Bristol Council after she revealed the results of around 300 postal votes using her twitter account.

Miss McCarthy wrote: ‘First PVs opened in east Bristol, our sample: Eng Dems ; Greens ; UKIP ; TUSC ; BNP ; Lib Dem ; Tory ; Labour . #gameON!’ (The numbers have been removed).
 
The Labour candidate who is also a qualified solicitor and has previously worked in Labour’s legal department, swiftly deleted the post.  If charged and found guilty she faces a possible £5,000 fine or six-month jail sentence.

Candidates are allowed to be present when the postal votes are opened but they have to adhere to confidential rules and face penalties if these rules are broken.

The allegations are acutely embarrassing for Ms McCarthy who was given the job of improving Labour’s use of social media sites last year.

The Labour party has been dogged by accusations over postal votes and were recently criticised by the Electoral Commission after breaching electoral postal vote guidelines at the Glasgow North East by-election when they held onto postal votes longer than the agreed time limit before submitting them.

A Bristol Council spokesman said: “This is a criminal matter and will be for the police to decide what action to take.”

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman confirmed the council had contacted the police and that the matter was being looked into.