It's now official. Phil Woolas broke election law, and has had his position of M.P. removed. He has also been banned from being an M.P. for three years. The election has been declared void and must be run again.
This is the first time in 99 years that a court case like this has happened.
The literature produced during the election was not only lies, but could have caused severe trouble. Oldham is an area that has a large BNP support. They do not have say locally and yet managed to get upwards of 2,000 votes in each of the Oldham seats. Fortunately this has been lower than in the past, but the type of stories printed by Mr Woolas this year could have led to a boost in their support.
Mr Woolas is claiming that he will appeal, but I wonder will he be talked out of it by former Labour colleagues. As well as the embarrassment this causes for the party, it is also leading to criticism of the new Leader Ed Miliband for appointing him to a Shadow Cabinet post while knowing full well there was a chance this result could happen.
While accepting that there is a strike at the BBC, there has not been a great deal of comment from the Labour Party. Ed Miliband has apparently now said that the Labour Party will not fund an appeal for him, and that he has been removed from the Labour Party.
On Monday the Speaker - John Bercow - will set out what will happen next in relation to the bye election.
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