BNP’s Liverpool mayor candidate Mike Whitby arrested on suspicion of electoral fraud following ECHO investigation

  • Mike Whitby
    Mike Whitby

    THE BNP’s Liverpool mayor candidate Mike Whitby was arrested at his North Wales home on suspicion of electoral fraud – following an ECHO investigation.

    Police broke down Mike Whitby’s front door in North Wales yesterday, after he refused to cooperate for six hours.

    He was questioned at a police station in Wrexham on suspicion of making false statements and faking signatures on nomination election papers – an offence under Section 65A of the Representation of the People Act.

    The ECHO alerted police after several residents in Wavertree – living in three neighbouring streets – told our reporter they did not support Mr Whitby, even though he claimed they had on his forms.

    Voice of the Echo: Decency will defeat the BNP

    The ECHO spoke to eight of the 28 people whose signatures are on his nomination form. Of those, three said they definitely did not know they were signing for the BNP, while a fourth was adamant the signature on the form was not theirs.

    Three said they did know or were told before signing, while one said they were told after giving their signature.

    Two people spoken to by the ECHO as part of our investigations said quite clearly they would not have knowingly signed for the BNP candidate as they had black and Asian relatives.

    Another signature on the form is, according to a friend of the person named, unlikely to be that of the elderly lady in question – as she is blind.

    Under electoral law, a candidate must gather a proposer, seconder and 28 other signatures from electors in order to be eligible to stand as mayor.

    Detective Superintendent Martin Andrew said: “Following an allegation that nomination forms for the mayoral elections had been fraudulently filled in, a police investigation was launched.

    “Officers conducted extensive enquiries in the Wavertree area of Liverpool over the weekend and interviewed a significant number of people.

    “Following those enquiries and after taking advice from the Crown Prosecution Service, Merseyside police officers attended an address in the Wrexham area of North Wales at 7.30am today to speak to the homeowner about the allegations.

    “My officers made repeated attempts to speak to the occupant and, at around 1.30pm today, they arrested a 59-year-old man on suspicion of making false statements and faking signatures on nomination election papers – an offence under Section 65A of the Representation of the People Act.

    “The man was taken to a police station in Wrexham where he was interviewed about the allegations. He currently remains in police custody.”

     

    The BNP dismissed the allegations as an attempt to discredit the party.

     

    A statement on their website claimed Mr Whitby was not able to arrange an early meeting to be interviewed by the police, due to funeral arrangements for his mother. 

    But one resident who said she had been approached for her signature by Mr Whitby said: “He never told me (he was BNP). That’s deception.

    “I can’t remember whether he said Liberal or Independent.”

    The resident added she had a relative of Pakistani origin and so wouldn’t have signed in support of far-right candidate Mr Whitby.

    Another of the people whose signatures are on the form added: “He did not say he was BNP, he just said he was a candidate to be the mayor.

    “Definitely, I wouldn’t have signed it. Part of our family is Caribbean.”

    A third resident added: “If he had told me (he was BNP) I would have said ‘no’. If I had known, I would have chased him up the garden path.”

    Earlier this month, the ECHO revealed how Mr Whitby is only able to stand for Liverpool mayor because he rents a redundant pigeon shed in the grounds of the Cricketers Club in Wavertree – which city bosses recently unsuccessfully tried to have shut down for allowing the BNP to hold their annual conference there.

    The ECHO also revealed how Mr Whitby is due to go before the Welsh equivalent of the Standards Board for England over a complaint he brought the local parish council he sits on into disrepute by being jailed for two weeks last year for contempt of court.

    Mr Whitby had been at the hearing in Birkenhead of a Wirral man who refused to pay his council tax, when a group of far-right activists attempted to “arrest” the judge for “treason”.

    Mr Whitby was jailed for refusing to give his name and address to the court last year.

    BNP spokesman Simon Darby did not comment directly in relation to the nomination form on the allegations, but added: “It’s suspicious so much of the resources of the political establishment are being used to undermine the BNP’s campaign. In light of the spectacular success of (French National Front candidate) Marine Le Pen in the French elections, various bodies have an interest in knocking the BNP.”

    The ECHO passed our information to police last week, but delayed running our story to allow police time to conduct further inquiries.

    From the Liverpool Echo 01.05.12. Report by Marc Waddington

    Editorial. Liveraf chose to publicise the Liverpool Echo’s report of this story, beacuse it is the most comprehensive we have seen. However, it has also been reported in several of the national dailies and it has even made the Irish Times . Locally, anti-fascists are hoping for an appropriate dispensation of justice, which in this case would amount to the authorities locking up the odious Mr. Whitby and forgetting where they put the key. If all goes well, we may have seen the last of Mike Whitby’s activities in Liverpool and, one hopes and prays, the final demise of the BNP on Merseyside. Nationally of course, this can only constitute one more nail in the coffin of the British National Party RIP.

    Further details will be posted as they become available

     

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