MPAC’s Campaigning for Labour Reported to Electoral Commission

The Muslim Public Affairs Committee‘s (MPAC) campaigning for Labour has been reported to the Electoral Commission and they have been put on legal notice to answer concerns over its possible breaches of election, election finance and data protection laws.

MPAC will also be reported to the police and Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if it does not give a satisfactory response to a seven-page legal letter sent on behalf of the new Campaign for Ballot Integrity, chaired by former Labour MP John Woodcock.

  • The legal action comes after questions were raised about MPAC’s apparently irregular and potentially illegal activities in the General Election, including: why the group has not registered with the Electoral Commission as a non-party campaigner, despite publicly attempting to raise at least £20,000 and indicating it intends to campaign in 14 constituencies;
  • Whether it is authorised to incur targeted spending by the Labour Party;
  • Whether it has complied with electoral law on spending limits, particularly in relation to constituency spending;
  • Whether it has been authorised by election agents to incur expenses on behalf of any candidate in the constituencies in which it is campaigning;
  • Whether it is using paid canvassers, illegally;
  • What personal data it is processing, on behalf of whom and whether it has consent to do so;
  • Why its privacy policy does not accord with the requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“the GDPR”).

MPAC’s pro-Labour and constituency-focused campaign activity is on the public record. MPAC’s website explicitly states it is targeting and seeking to unseat Conservative candidates in at least 14 constituencies, part of its ‘Operation Muslim Vote 2019’. It admits to activities in Bolton West; Chingford & Woodford Green; Chipping Barnet; Harrow East; Hastings & Rye; Milton Keynes, North; Milton Keynes South; Pendle; Pudsey; Reading West; Southampton Itchen; Stoke-on-Trent South; Uxbridge & Ruislip South and Wycombe.

MPAC’s support for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party is overt:

“The Tories have ignored and actively side-lined all Muslim organisations that have criticised them. They have zero interest in addressing Muslim concerns. We need to kick them out. And we can, but only if we are organised. This General Election is our time to get them out of power and replace them with a Corbyn-led government.”

Chairman of the Campaign for Ballot Integrity, the former Labour MP, John Woodcock says:

“MPAC’s activities at this election give cause for serious concern over its compliance with registration, campaign finance and data laws. We rightly have strong electoral law so that we have a fair playing field at our elections. Given public concern that the electoral process is increasingly subject to improper interference, swift action must be taken to ensure the integrity of this general election. The public will be concerned to hear about the allegations of antisemitism which have also been made against this group. The new Campaign for Ballot Integrity, which I am proud to Chair, will be taking robust and immediate action to call out, question and challenge any illegal or improper activity which has become apparent through the course of the general election campaign, including but not limited to taking legal action in the courts. Today’s action against MPAC is the beginning of the fightback against electoral wrongdoing that has gone unchallenged for too long.”

The Campaign for Ballot Integrity is a non-partisan initiative that opposes electoral malpractice and campaigns for the integrity of elections. Woodcock is encouraging anyone with evidence of electoral malpractice to contact the relevant authorities and inform them by emailing:

Download legal letter [PDF]

mdi-timer 4 December 2019 @ 11:43 4 Dec 2019 @ 11:43 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Another Former Labour Minister Urges Voters to Back Boris

Following the wide-spread coverage of Ian Austin and John Woodcock calling on the public to back Boris and block Corbyn, a third former Labour MP – Tom Harris – has used a column in today’s Scottish Mail to back Boris for PM. Just about counteracts David Gauke’s u-turn this morning to stand as an independent against the Tories…

Harris – who served as a transport minister under Blair and Brown – has invoked the words of Theresa May (of all people), in writing “I will be voting Tory… to save the country that I love”, and goes on to say:

“Jeremy Corbyn, the present leader of UK Labour, cannot and must not be trusted with the security of our nation. Nor, frankly, can he be trusted with safeguarding the Union”

Harris – who also served in Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet and backed leaving the EU in 2016 – wrote a similar column in 2017 warning of the dangers of Corbyn, but stopped well short of overtly calling on people to vote Tory. Austin, Woodcock and he really are Mainstream…

mdi-timer 13 November 2019 @ 09:05 13 Nov 2019 @ 09:05 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Woodcock Joins Austin Saying “Vote Conservative”

Guido was at the Mainstream election campaign launch earlier today, former Labour MP John Woodcock joined Ian Austin in calling on voters to back the Conservatives, because Jeremy Corbyn could not be trusted on national security and is unfit to lead the country. When he said his piece to camera Woodcock visibly hesitated before saying the words “vote Conservative”. Guido got the sense that it wasn’t a dramatic pause, it was just genuinely hard for him to say. McDonnell and the rest of the hard left are calling the two of them Tories. Labour activists are convinced peerages are on their way. Perhaps. After Tom Watson quitting it is pretty clear that the moderate wing of the Labour Party is finished for at least a decade or so…

mdi-timer 7 November 2019 @ 15:42 7 Nov 2019 @ 15:42 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
New Independent Group in Parliament Launches

Just in case things weren’t confusing enough after the Change UK/Independent Group split, a new grouping called The Independents has now launched, including some – but not all – of the rump of the Independent Group. Rather than being a party they say they are structured as a “co-operative” instead. Hopefully they manage to work together more cooperatively than Change UK did

At launch they have five MPs – Independent Groupers Heidi Allen, Luciana Berger, Gavin Shuker and Angela Smith plus former Labour MP John Woodcock, although there’s no sign of Sarah Wollaston. Looks like they won’t be following Chuka to the Lib Dems just yet…

They are making a big feature of their values, rather than political positions, and their independent complaints procedure which Woodcock has already referred himself to in order to resolve the outstanding Labour complaint which Labour deliberately left hanging over him. Can they succeed where TIG/CUK/RA/FC_N failed…?

UPDATE: Even more confusingly, they’re separate from another pet project launched today by Heidi Allen called “Unite to Remain” which will try to get the unruly mass of pro-Remain parties to work together. Or alternatively, try to maintain any sort of media relevance for Heidi herself…

mdi-timer 10 July 2019 @ 10:33 10 Jul 2019 @ 10:33 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
PA’s Woodcock Replacing Indy’s Watts

Guido hears Andy Woodcock from the Press Association has been appointed political editor of the Independent to replace Joe Watts. More when we have it…

UPDATE: Following Guido’s story, Woodcock has confirmed the move. Guido hopes he gets speedier once he has moved to the digital-only Indy…

mdi-timer 12 April 2019 @ 15:26 12 Apr 2019 @ 15:26 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Woodcock Won’t Back No Confidence Motion, Says Corbyn “Unfit to Lead the Country”

Ex-Labour MP John Woodcock has told MPs that he won’t be backing the no confidence motion in Theresa May tonight, instead dropping a truth bomb about Corbyn’s total unfitness to be Prime Minister:

With a heavy heart I have to tell the House that I cannot support the no confidence motion tonight. Some of my friends mutter disgrace, I hear some of them tutting, I have to say that many of them have privately said “Thank God that you have got the freedom to actually not support this”. Because they are wrestling with their consciences of wanting definitely a Labour Government, knowing that the leader of their party is as unfit to lead the country as he was when they voted against him in the no confidence motion of the party those years ago.

More than a few of his former Labour Party colleagues know he’s right…

mdi-timer 16 January 2019 @ 17:39 16 Jan 2019 @ 17:39 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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