A LEGAL challenge is under way to try to prevent a British National Party candidate taking an uncontested seat on Seascale Parish Council.
An appeal is being made through the High Court on the grounds that Sellafield process worker Malcolm Southward’s nomination for a place on the council is legally invalid. The appeal has been made by Coun David Moore on behalf of the parish.
He said: “We believe the information given on the nomination form is fraudulent. It says Mr Southward has worked in the parish of Seascale while employed by Sellafield for the past 12 months. This is false. Sellafield is in the parish of Ponsonby and Beckermet, not Seascale.
“We have brought this to Malcolm Southward’s attention. In fairness we are giving him the opportunity to resign and that would be the end of the matter. If he fails to do so then the right course of action is to call in the police to investigate under electoral law.”
Asked whether Mr Southward would be resigning, the BNP’s national nominations officer Clive Jefferson said: “Absolutely not. It’s sour grapes. The Electoral Commission has already told us the nomination is valid, we went to them after a previous complaint.
“At the end of the day Seascale is the postal address for Sellafield. We are not in the business of falsely submitting anything.”
Coun Moore said: “This is not about Mr Southward being a BNP candidate, it is to do with false information on a nomination. There are no politics on Seascale Parish Council but it is fair to say there is a huge amount of concern in the parish over this issue.”
As there are 12 candidates for the 12 seats on Seascale Parish Council, there is to be no election in the parish when Copeland goes to the polls on May 5.