Tory candidate apologises for ‘misleading’ leaflet that claimed she’s a councillor
A Welsh Tory candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner has apologised for a “misleading” leaflet which made a false claim.
Pat Astbury, who is standing for North Wales PCC, incorrectly described herself as a councillor on a piece of campaign literature, when in fact she is a former one.
In an apology on her Facebook page, she insisted that there was “no intent to deceive whatsoever”.
She has previously been rebuked by an election chief for another electoral rule break.
The candidate incorrectly described herself as the Police and Crime Commissioner in a video on her Facebook page when the election has yet to take place.
The Conservative election leaflet says: “Local councillor and campaigner Pat Astbury is standing for North Wales at this election.”
A complaint about the literature was made to Colin Everett, the North Wales Regional Returning Officer, who is understood to have contacted the candidate about the issue.
In a statement on her Facebook page, Pat Astbury said: “An error has appeared in print, describing myself as a Councillor, when in fact I am a former Councillor.
“I apologise if this has been misleading in any way, and hopefully, this explanation will address the matter. There has been no intent to deceive whatsoever, and I trust this explanation will serve to clarify.”
The “misleading” statement about being Police and Crime Commissioner was made during a Q&A session with the Conservative Police Minister Kit Malthouse MP.
This led to a reprimand North Wales Regional Returning Officer Colin Everett, who criticised the “inaccurate” statement.
The former Ruthin Town Councillor and Clerk to Efenechtyd Community Council, later edited the video to remove the statement, following the reprimand.
Following the incident a Welsh Conservative spokesperson told Nation.Cymru that “Pat made a genuine mistake and the video has now been edited to correct it”.
In response to the complaint about the candidate incorrectly describing herself as Police and Crime Commissioner, Colin Everett, said: “Pat Astbury presents herself as though the PPC which is off course inaccurate.
“Whether a slip of the tongue or not – it misrepresents her position. Stephen – could I ask that the PCC’s office instructs Pat to edit the video immediately to delete this part.
“I have not watched the whole video so do not know if this reference is made only the once.
“On the wider point, no candidate should have privileged access to Government Ministers as part of their campaigning.
“My advice is the Minister should either extend the opportunity for an interview to all other candidates or otherwise ask for the video to be withdrawn. Stephen – this needs taking up with the Minister’s office urgently.”