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Election candidate lodges official complaint after leaflets are allegedly delivered to wrong constituency

29 Jun 2024 3 minute read
George Etheridge, independent candidate for Newport West and Islwyn. Credit: Blackwood Town Council

Nicholas Thomas, local democracy reporter

An election candidate says he has lodged an official complaint after leaflets promoting his campaign were allegedly delivered to homes in the wrong constituency.

George Etheridge, who is running as an independent candidate for Newport West and Islwyn, said campaign leaflets were mistakenly delivered to properties in Brynawel and Cwmfelinfach – both of which fall under the neighbouring seat of Caerphilly after recent boundary changes.

Since then, bundles of leaflets which should have been distributed in parts of his constituency, such as Hafodyrynys and Pentwynmawr, have failed to be delivered, Mr Etheridge said.

Royal Mail

The candidate has made an official complaint to Royal Mail, but he is concerned the mix-up will have an impact on his chances in the general election on July 4, when he will be one of seven people vying for the newly-created Newport West and Islwyn seat.

Royal Mail said the issue was down to “human error” and has been rectified.

Some people have asked him whether he is “just a paper candidate”, Mr Etheridge said.

“I’ve had to pay for them [the leaflets] out of my own pocket. It’s something I’ve saved up for.”

Mr Etheridge said his election leaflets were delivered to a Royal Mail sorting office in Cardiff in line with election procedures.

Since then, however, he has been left questioning the effectiveness of the distribution system, which he believes may have been affected by the recent boundary changes in the Caerphilly and Newport local authority areas.

‘Cock up’

Mr Etheridge said he spent around £1,600 to have the leaflets produced, and in light of the alleged errors with delivery, added: “That’s a lot of money for a cock-up.”

Following Mr Etheridge’s complaint, a Royal Mail spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “We have a specialist elections team that plans every aspect of the elections delivery programmes and works closely with local authorities to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

“We have investigated concerns with the delivery of election leaflets and found one isolated incidence of delay due to human error, but no wider issues. This has been rectified and all leaflets have now been delivered to the correct addresses.”

The candidates for Newport West and Islwyn in the upcoming general election are:

Etheridge, George – Independent
Ham, Brandon – Plaid Cymru
Hamilton, Mike – Welsh Liberal Democrats
Jones, Nick – Conservative Party
Jones, Ruth – Welsh Labour
Taylor, Paul – Reform UK
Vosper, Kerry – Green Party

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Welsh Patriot
Welsh Patriot
22 days ago

He’ll probably say he would have won the seat, except for fact a few hundred of his leaflets went to the wrong addresses.
You never know he could of held the balance of power helping the Lib Dems to an overall majority.
A judicial review, followed by a full public enquiry would be the only course of action IMHO

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