Could UKIP’s Kim Rose be brought down by a sausage roll?

    Could UKIP’s Kim Rose be brought down by a sausage roll?

    Photo from the BBC

    What are you talking about?

    On 10th April 2015 the BBC reported that Kim Rose, the UKIP candidate in the General Election for Southampton Itchen is due to be questioned on Monday by Hampshire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit over allegations of ‘treating’.


    Treating, as in ‘trick or treating’?

    Nothing to do with that. ‘Treating’ is an offence under s114 Representation of the People Act 1983. This is defined as –

    A person shall be guilty of treating if he corruptly, by himself or by any other person, either before, during or after an election, directly or indirectly gives or provides, or pays wholly or in part the expense of giving or providing, any meat, drink, entertainment or provision to or for any person—

    (a) for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to vote or refrain from voting; or

    (b) on account of that person or any other person having voted or refrained from voting, or being about to vote or refrain from voting

    The person who receives the meat is also guilty of an offence, if he accepts it ‘corruptly’.


    What’s the penalty?

    The offence is either way, with a maximum sentence of 2 years.


    What did he do?

    According to the BBC, the allegation is that “he tried to influence voters by giving away sausage rolls at a party event featuring snooker star Jimmy White.

    For obvious reasons, we won’t say any more at this stage as to the allegations or anything relating to it.

    But, a quick reminder for the Police Officers who interview Mr Rose – they need to be careful when discussing politics as it is a criminal offence (summary only with a level 3 fine) to “by word, message, writing or in any other manner, endeavour to persuade any person to give, or dissuade any person from giving, his vote, whether as an elector or as proxy“.




    Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.


    1. “give” means “cast”. I give my vote when I put an X opposite the name of the candidate I dislike least and put the ballot paper in the box or the post.

      Off topic but I cannot resist this anecdote. Many years ago I was a party rep at the count in a council by-election when one of the ballot papers had not an X but a bottle in the box. Was it a vote for the candidate or a comment (entirely accurate) on his private life?

      The Returning Officer decided to treat it as a “tendered vote” – which means he did not have to rule unless it could make a difference, and if it could not it would be deemed spoilt. In the event although the election was tight, though not as tight as the candidate in question, one vote was not decisive and the paper could be ignored. Pity, really.

    2. Perhaps an important point – they were charging an entry fee of £2 for the event. If that covers the costs of the refreshments then surely there’s no case? That aside, don’t they have to prove it was for corrupt purposes as well?