UKIP Uncovered
What motivates the leaders of the United Kingdom Independence Party?

Friday, July 18, 2003 

Some questions for M Harvey Returning Officer

Michael Harvey has made the following statement on an e-mail discussion group Eurofaq:-

It is important that the integrity of any election process is not in doubt, so I am happy to answer any questions on- or off-list (other thanfrom the usual anti-UKIP time-wasters).

(Returning Officer for the UKIP Candidate selection ballot)

As the remark regarding anti-UKIP time-wasters was directed at myself I do not feel able to repeat all the many questions I have been asking for months on this blog.

However if any members of good standing read these and wish to incorporate any of the questions below, to those they
might have in their own minds, please feel free to re-draft and adapt them as you wish and submit them to UKIP's General Party Secretary.

We will be happy to post the replies on this blogspot following our return from a short vacation.

Questions for Michael Harvey as Returning Officer for the MEP Candidate
Selection Procedures October 2002 to May 2003

1. Who appointed Harvey as Returning Officer and to whom did he report?

2. What authority did he obtain to extend the first candidate application deadline, what subsequent extensions were granted and under what authority?

3. Why, how often and with what authority did he permit prospective MEP candidates to be interviewed by other prospective candidates?

4. How many candidates did he allow to be included on regional lists without interview, who were they and what were the circumstances?

5.How many approved candidates did he as returning officer arbitrarily exclude from the regional lists of their first or second choice regions?

6. How many successful candidates remain on the candidate list of more than one region and what steps are being taken to rectify this situation?

7.Why as Returning Officer did he permit, when at the Middlesborough hustings, a prospective female MEP candidate to be hectored and brow-beaten over a policy opinion, on which she held views with which many agreed, by a former Party Chairman and a MEP candidate certainly in another region and at the time of the hustings possibly also in the North East. Why at that same meeting did he allow another prospective MEP candidate, the Party Secretary, contrary to the rules, to actively participate and try to direct the course of those hustings. Why as Returning Officer did he not discipline, reprimand or disqualify these senior party officers, but nevertheless MEP candidates for the clear breaches of the electoral rules?

8. Why did he keep the candidate list in the North East from the Regional Committee, even before their illegal suspension, and only disclose the names of certain candidates at the very last moment and too late for them to attend the hustings meetings.

9. Why did he allow the postal ballot to proceed in the South West when he had been informed of (if not, as alleged by Chairman Lott, being personally responsible for) clear rule and procedure breaches that would incontrovertibly throw any result into contention.

10. Why did he allow the postal ballot in the North East to proceed when there was an appeal against a candidate disqualification outstanding and pending throughout the balloting period and vote count?

11. Having been alerted to false membership applications being submitted and membership cards issued, what steps did he take to ensure that ballot papers would only be issued to bona fides members at their home addresses.

12. Having been notified of a huge and totally abnormal surge in membership applications in the NE in January and February of this year (some 35 percent) what steps did he take to protect the integrity of the ballot, such as applying a 31st October 2002 cut off date for members eligible to vote?
(As previously applied)

13. Having been alerted to such manipulation in the North East, what steps did he take to ensure this might not be an isolated incident?

14. What provisions did he undertake to ensure that ballot papers issued to unknowing members were not being diverted, forged and returned to the city firm he had appointed for the receipt of the ballots?

15. Who was the independent witness who accompanied Harvey to collect the ballots?

16. Why did it take several days to recount 230 ballots from the North East as Harvey has stated, why was the London recount obviously with a greater number of votes similarly excessively delayed?

17. Why after the Party Treasurer had found the leading candidate in the North East ballot guilty of membership fraud, was he allowed to merely resign his candidature for the North East and then be approved as a candidate for Scotland and continue in his other party functions?

18. What precedent is there for utilisation of accommodation addresses for the receipt of completed ballots. If this was the first time such were used what was the justification for this new procedure and what problems caused a reversion to normal practise for the recent poll on the rule changes?

19. Does Michael Harvey concur with the view of Party Leader Roger Knapman that the Peter Troy ?dead grandmother? surge in membership within the southern portion of the NE Region was not a matter of serious concern for the Party.

20. Does Michael Harvey not now accept that the situation as described in question 19 above, should at least have been a matter of serious concern as regards to the proper running of the MEP candidate election, and that in retrospect, particularly bearing in mind the press comment on BNP infiltration connotations, a full, urgent and vigorous inquiry should have been launched, if not by other senior party figures then at least by himself as Returning Officer?

21. Why were candidates prohibited from circulating personal details and biographies even at Hustings meeting. Please quote in full the electoral rule under which he enforced that provision?

22. Does Mr Harvey not understand that the generally accepted role of a returning officer is to ensure the electoral rules are upheld so that the most competent or at any rate popular candidates are elected. It is clear from all the questions raised above that M. Harvey appears to have seen his role as ensuring either that certain preferred candidates won through.

posted by Martin |5:43 AM
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