Ealing Conservatives Call in Police

After allegations of fake signatures on their own petition

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The police are investigating allegations that a former Conservative party volunteer in Ealing may have forged signatures on a petition challenging the council's housing management policy.

The Conservative Group Leader Councillor Jason Stacey surprised councillors at a meeting last night when he told them that he had taken the action because of queries which had been brought to his attention.

He said that after writing to thank the people who had signed the  petition - which triggered a full debate at Council -  the Group Office was contacted by two households in the North Greenford area.

Today Councillor Stacey told www.ealingtoday.co.uk, ''The two households in question who had submitted separate complaints were from the same road in the North Greenford area and I sent to them both a copy of the relevant page of the petition with their signatures on and both households came back to me to confirm that the signatures were not theirs.

''I also met with one of the couples to discuss the matter further. Following this I was very concerned with what seemed to be emerging and so I took the decision to refer the matter to the Police for investigation.  

''The complaint has focussed so far on 4 signatures from two households - though we are looking at another 12 from the same road as clearly if there are issues with the 4, then there is a greater likelihood that there may be issues with the other 12.

'' The individual responsible for doing this road has been identified - they are not a member of the Conservative Group on the council but rather a party volunteer who recently resigned from the party (the reason for the resignation is not actually connected to this).  

''Clearly anything that allegedly involves falsifying signatures on a petition is totally unacceptable, hence the action I have taken and which I made a statement on to council last night.''

October 21 2010