Letter: These pranksters are no joke

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The Independent Online
Sir: In the parliamentary constituency in which I live a candidate was allowed to stand for election under the official description "New Labour". The young man's candidature does not appear to have been accompanied by any statement of his views, or his reasons for standing, or by any communication with the electorate.

It is to be presumed that the prankster's aim was to harm the interests of the Labour Party by deceiving and confusing the voters. A candidate calling himself a Literal Democrat probably harmed the Liberal Democrat candidate in a recent election elsewhere.

The new Home Secretary should bring forward legislation to require returning officers to disallow official descriptions of candidates whose aim is to confuse the electorate. This would not disqualify the unusual, the humorously intended or the downright eccentric descriptions which sometimes enliven elections, but it would rule out those not adopted in good faith.

The Rev G W F LANG

London W6