Scottish council elections: arrest made after mannequin stands as candidate

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A WOMAN has been arrested after a tailor’s dummy was entered as a candidate for the council elections.

The mannequin, named Helena Torry, was registered to stand as a candidate in Aberdeen when voters go to the polls on 3 May.

Its election “agent”, Renee Slater, has been charged by Grampian Police under the Representation of the People Act.

But Ms Slater insisted yesterday it should not be a “police issue.”

“This is an Aberdeen City Council issue,” she said. “I think the police have much more important things to deal with than me.”

Returning officer Valerie Watts, who is in charge of the election in the city, confirmed yesterday that it had been brought to her attention that “Ms Torry”, who had been registered to stand in the Hazlehead, Ashley and Queens Cross ward, “does not exist”.

Ms Watts added: “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 3 May.

“The nomination paper for Helena Torry was submitted shortly before the close of nominations on 3 March 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 added that “those concerned” would be billed for all costs involved in dealing with the matter.

A spokeswoman for Grampian Police confirmed yesterday that a 63-year-old female was charged in connection with an offence under the Representation of the People Act 1983 on Thursday.

On 2 April, Aberdeen City Council published a revised notice of poll for the ward ahead of the election. Among the other candidates standing are senior Liberal Democrat councillor Martin Grieg and Sandra Macdonald, wife of Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald.