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Phil Woolas election ruling in October

Judges delay decision over Labour MP’s ethnically divisive campaign.

By Daniel Trilling

Phil Woolas, the Labour MP who is facing a court challenge to his re-election this year from his Lib Dem opponent, Elwyn Watkins, will now have to wait until October for the court’s decision, reports the BBC.

The case, the first of its kind in 99 years, centres on whether Woolas made misleading comments about Watkins in campaign material, some of which suggested that the Lib Dems were canvassing support from Islamic extremists.

As my colleague George Eaton has already argued, it appears that Woolas’s campaign was deliberately designed to whip up ethnic tensions in Oldham, a city that suffered race riots less than a decade ago — something that, regardless of the court’s decision, will mark it out as “one of the most disgraceful election campaigns in recent history”.

 

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
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