Last Sunday an official LibDem email, put out by London LibDems exhorted party members to help out in the Bromley by election. Nothing wrong in that, you might think, but at the end of the email the Party offered to reward LibDem Youth & Student members by giving them "a tenner" and paying for their travel. Now my knowledge of electoral law is by no means encyclopedic, but I do know that it is strictly illegal to pay canvassers in any shape or form.
From: Pete Dollimore <pete.dollimore...>Reply-To: Pete Dollimore < pete.dollimore...>To: ld-londonactivists-l@LISTS.LIBDEMS.ORG.UKSubject: [LONDON-LDS] Latest News from Bromley Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2006 13:10:38 +0100--- Latest News from Bromley ---
Come and Help! ---The pile of tabloid newspapers has started to go down, but there's no danger of them running out soon!
LDYS members please note - if you coming for a full day, we can help with student travel costs (bring ticket with you), a tenner to help youthrough the day and overnight accommodation if needed. Just give the office a call and offer to do a day's work! If you're prepared to make the committment (sic), then the party will help make sure you're not out of pocket.
I am quite prepared to accept that all these keen young LibDem students may be photocopying, but if any of them are out on the doorstep and talking to voters and at the same time receving their £10, they are probably committing an offence, as are those who hand over the money. Hat-tip to Yellow Peril. Note: I have only quoted the relevant paragraph of the email. I have the full email.