Woman arrested after entering mannequin into council elections

 

Local government has long been the place where ambitious politicians seek to get themselves in the shop window, so to speak, but there are limits it seems.

Helena Torry’s face remained expressionless as election officials disqualified her from standing in the upcoming council elections in the Hazlehead, Ashley and Queens Cross ward in Aberdeen.

Her crime? Being a mannequin.

The mannequin’s election agent, 63-year-old Renee Slater has been charged by Grampian Police under the Section 65 part 2A of 1983 Representation of the People Act, concerned with forging ballot papers, and is scheduled to appear in court in the near future.

“It has been brought to my attention that Helena Torry, for whom a nomination paper was submitted for the Hazlehead, Ashley and Queens Cross ward, does not exist,” said the red faced returning officer, Valerie Watts. “I am, therefore, republishing the Notice of Poll for that ward, deleting the reference to the fake candidate.”

“This is a very serious and unusual step to take but is necessary to ensure that the interests of the genuine candidates and voters are protected, and that the election can take place on May 3.

”The nomination paper for Helena Torry was submitted shortly before the close of nominations on March 3 and contained all the information required by statute for a valid nomination.

“In this case, it is clear from public statements from the purported election agent that the information on the form was inaccurate to the point of rendering the nomination a complete nullity, which can be disregarded for the purposes of the election.” She said that “those concerned” would be required to cover the costs involved in the matter.

Ms Slater was released from police custody on Thursday, but the mannequin has not been so fortunate. She remains in the possession of the Grampian Police.

It is three weeks since Ms Slater first foisted the brunette bespectacled dummy into the electoral foray, when she told the Aberdeen Evening Express: “Helena’s aims and objectives are equality for human beings, ensuring there is a fair deal for everyone and giving a voice to the silent majority.”

Lofty aims no question, though her immediate interests are more specific. She first appeared at a Friends of Union Terrace Garden campaign event, of which her agent is a vocal supporter, campaigning against proposed developments to gardens in Aberdeen City Centre.

We shall never know now what Ms Torry might have achieved in public life, but the initials signs were promising. “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views,” wrote a relatively unknown senator from Illinois seven years ago. He might just win a second term in the White House at the end of the year.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy