October 22 2014 Latest news:
Sam Blewett, Reporter
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Romford MP Andrew Rosindell has defended a decision to ask residents to send postal votes to the local Conservative HQ saying “all parties” do it.
The Conservative MP was criticised by Havering Conservative group leader Steven Kelly after he wrote to residents urging for them to vote Tory and apply for postal votes, including just Margaret Thatcher House, Western Road, Romford, as the return address. The move goes against Electoral Commission guidelines which state the Electoral Registration Officer’s (ERO) address should be the preferred address for the return of absent vote application forms.
Mr Rosindell stressed: “All absent vote forms that are sent to our HQ or handed to our campaign team are handed the next day to the ERO at the town hall.
“All political parties do this.”
But Cllr Kelly, who is also chairman of the Hornchurch and Upminster Conservatives, criticised the MP saying: “We say send it back to the ERO not us. I don’t think that’s the right thing to do.”
While the guidelines are voluntary the commission “strongly” advises they should be adhered to.
The recommended address to send all postal vote applications is Election Services, Town Hall, Main Road, Romford, RM1 3BD.