The statement by the Electoral Commission that the decision to designate NESNO was made on Monday 13th September is to be questioned. Evidence to follow. Make your own minds up.
The Newcastle Journal
Herron backers to challenge poll decision
Supporters of anti-assembly campaigner Neil Herron are set to challenge the decision not to make him the official No campaign leader in the North-East, it has been revealed.
In one of the most extraordinary twists in the battle over regional assemblies, backers of the North East No campaign have pledged to question the Electoral Commission's designation procedures, warning their decision has gone against the will of the public in the region.
On Tuesday Mr Herron's group lost out in the race to North East Says No, which becomes the official No campaign in the North East and picks up £100,000 of public money.
But now Lord David Stoddart of Swindon, chair of the Campaign for Independent Britain, is backing the metric martyrs, accusing the Electoral Commission of sidelining the North East No campaign.
"I am rather surprised at the decision," Lord Stoddart explained.
"He has been campaigning on this issue for a long period of time and is very well known in the area.
"The North East Says No campaign as far as I can see has only just started. Neil is as close to the grassroots as anyone could be and that's something the Electoral Commission should have looked at.
"I only hope the Commission has not been put under any pressure by the Government."
Conspiracy theories have suggested that Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott influenced the decision in favour of John Elliot's NESNO campaign, because it has backing from the Conservative Party.
But that was immediately dismissed by the Electoral Com mission, with a spokeswoman saying the Government played "no part at all in any decision. It was a decision made only on Monday September 13."
In the meantime, Mr Herron has pledged to carry on his anti-assembly campaign in the run-up to voting on November 4, saying: "We are going to continue to say no to this idea but as the people's campaign.
"We were very disappointed with the decision but this is not sour grapes.
"We just want to ask the Electoral Commission which boxes we didn't tick as a group, because the last thing this campaign should descend into is a party political debate."
Saturday, September 18, 2004
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