The error occured just hours after 89 ballot papers for the General Election, held on the same day, were issued at the town’s Whessoe polling station without the name of the UKIP candidate, David Hodgson, on them. That mistake happened when the guillotine used to cut the ballot papers for the Darlington constituency was set in error to the size of the neighbouring constituency, meaning Mr Hodgson was cut off some papers.
“Anybody who has sat through the case I have just tried and listened to evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic would find this statement surprising.”
In a withering judgment, Richard Mawrey QC, sitting as an Election Commissioner, said Mr Rahman had “driven a coach and horses through election law – and didn’t care”.
Mistakes, surprising, withering. Strange words to read about our Electoral system, which is itself sometimes described as ‘the envy of the modern world; and sometimes in more basic ‘earthy’ terms.