Democrat aims for literal point

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The Independent Online
For the first time since the High Court declared it legal to be a Literal Democrat, a man will stand as the Literal Democrat Labor Tory candidate in a local by-election in Harrow.

Roy Edey, 69, is to stand in order to draw attention to "the farce over the European election in Devon where Richard Huggett was allowed to stand as a Literal Democrat".

The Liberal Democrats lost the Devon and East Plymouth election to the Conservatives last June by only 700 votes. Mr Huggett polled over 10,000 although he did not campaign or issue election literature.

The Liberal Democrats attempted to prove in the High court that Mr Huggett's nomination paper confused the voters and should not have been allowed to stand.

But Mr Justice Dyson and Mr Justice Forbes, while agreeing that "Literal Democrat" was confusing, ruled that Mr Huggett's candidature was perfectly legal. Under British electoral law, candidates have to identify themselves by name and home address. Thereis no mention that party must be included.

"It's ridiculous," said Mr Edey, a retired solicitor's managing clerk. "If anyone tried to pass themselves off as Harrod's, Mr Al Fayed would be down Chancery Lane with his lawyer. But anyone can pass themselves off when it comes to political parties."

Mr Edey decided put all three names in his latest description so as not confuse the Harrow electorate on 16 February. At the last election he stood against Sir Patrick Mayhew in Tunbridge Wells under the description Illegal Sunday Shopping Westlands Scandal party.

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