Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Phil Woolas and Zac Goldsmith update

The Electoral Commission has decided that the case of Zac Goldsmith's expenses merits a proper investigation that might last up to three months. It still doesn't mean he is guilty, but it appears to show that there are questions that need proper explanations.

In another move, the High Court has decided that there is most definitely a case to answer for former minister Phil Woolas. A special election court will sit in Oldham in September to decide whether his campaign leafets were so misleading about his Lib Dem opponent Elwyn Watkins that the election should be re-run.

The court will sit for five days from September 13th. The timing means that, if the court orders a re-run, it is likely to take place during the conference season.

UPDATE - I'm told that any result of the Phil Woolas case will need to be read by the Speaker on the floor of the House of Commons and so a by-election - if that is the decision of the court - would be unlikely to be held until after the House returns.

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