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Councillor Hooke Cleared of Alleged “Election Bribery”

The investigation into alleged "election bribery" by Councillor Tony Hooke has been dropped as the councillor was told there was no case to answer to. [Read more...]

The investigation into alleged “election bribery” by Councillor Tony Hooke has been dropped as the councillor was told there was no case to answer to.

Councillor Hooke said: “I’ve just heard from police that, following a review by the two investigating officers and their inspector, there is no case to answer and no criminal intent.

He was questioned by Police last week about his offer before the May 2013 election to donate his £12,000 county councillor allowance to Neighbourcare in Andover after being told they were to lose funding.

Cllr Hooke Police Station

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  • A good result all round! An innocent man walks free. The police maintain their dignity by refusing to make an issue out of a non criminal act, tax payer’s money is saved by no further futile police investigation and Councillor Hooke can continue to do the good work that he has in the town of Andover.

    This is exactly the outcome I anticipated, but still very good news!

    • Michael, you are right to be pleased with the result, but what a lot of nonsense it took to arrive at that result.

      There has been an un-necessary waste of police time; and cost to local taxpayers. You may feel that someone should be held to account for that.

      I most certainly do, because my council tax is supposed to benefit me.

      Brian, you are quite right – the Act is clear; or at least as clear as any article of law ever is!

      I don’t agree with your politics and I was uncomfortable with your raucous election campaign, but I respect the work that Tony has done for the community. It’s much more than I ever did.

      • Bill, there is local politics and national politics. The latter is about following party policy and implementing manifestos (usually!) the former is about serving the needs of local people.

        I would hope there is one UKIP policy you could support, which is that the party’s local councillors are not whipped, and they are encouraged to address the needs of their community, rather than those of the party.

        That is why Tony Hooke has evoked such strong support in these columns, not just because of the unfairness of the allegations.

  • Excellent News! When I read the relevant section of the Act that it was alleged Tony had broken, I could just not see how his actions fitted in with the type of offence described in the Act, which is about actually giving hard money (or promising to give money) to individual voters.

    If there is no case to answer, one wonders why the police even bothered to call in Councillor Hooke for questioning, this wasting a valuable public resource.

  • At least the police showed far more sense than the gutless person or persons who notified the police in the first place. I just wish the police would charge ”them” with wasting police time!
    Carry on with your good work Tony and congratulations on your ongoing council work. The last time we had representation (local or county) as good as yours was when Peter Sumner was on the local council (and Andover Borough Council Mayor) and that was approximately 40 years ago!!

  • I totally agree Doug, a charge of wasting police time is definitely in order and UKIP should consider a counter claim of harassment. I think it is deeply worrying that the local Conservative member who made this spurious claim against Tony has stooped so low. No one likes a sore loser.

    But he is not alone acting like this. Michael Mates (Tory) who stood in last years Police Commissioners Election LOST, so he reported the WINNER Simon Hayes to the Electoral Commission saying that Mr Hayes did not live in Hampshire as he claimed. Yesterday Mr Hayes was cleared of this charge and all police action dropped. The irony of course is that Michael Mates definitely did not live in Hampshire despite claiming he did and he is himself being investigated for election fraud. Had Michael Mates been elected as the PCC we the tax payer and Hants constituents would be in the process of a £2million re-election!!!

    So is this now the modus operandi of the Tory Party when they loose fair and square to more popular candidates? If so its certainly going to make 2015 an interesting election given that Andover is likely to be up for grabs and Romsey is now considered a marginal seat and easy pickings for anyone with a half decent moral candidate.

  • Justice has been done, however in my opinion the person/s which accused Cllr Hook of misconduct, should stop skulking in the shadows, step forward, apologise and be held accountable for their actions, or are they just too much of a coward to make it known as to who they are.

  • Michael, you are right to be pleased with the result, but what a lot of nonsense it took to arrive at that result.

    There has been an un-necessary waste of police time; and cost to local taxpayers. You may feel that someone should be held to account for that.

    I most certainly do, because my council tax is supposed to benefit me.

    Brian, you are quite right – the Act is clear; or at least as clear as any article of law ever is!

    I don’t agree with your politics and I was uncomfortable with your raucous election campaign, but I respect the work that Tony has done for the community. It’s much more than I ever did.

  • If it is correct, as alleged in a message in this thread, that the allegation of electoral bribery was made by a Conservative, then the entire Party deserves to have its political house metaphorically burned to the ground. The absence of any sense or discipline in a serving Councillor who made this complaint should show how irresponsible the “Historic” Parties are going to be faced with increasing electoral rejection, which this act of gross stupidity reflects.

  • Those who were responsible for the original complaint should now be help responsible for the own actions, the last time I looked wasting police time was a criminal offence in this country and it certainly looks like this was nothing more than a dirty tricks campaign by Council officials against a hard working member of an opposing political party. A precedent needs to be set to stop this kind of thing happening again in other constituencies throughout the country.

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