Cumbrian BNP councillor held over voting probe

Dawn Charlton

Dawn Charlton

A BNP parish councillor has been arrested in connection with concerns over voting in the county council elections.

Dawn Charlton, 49, was arrested at her Maryport home by Cumbria police in connection with an ongoing investigation into voting at last May’s elections.

The Broughton Moor parish councillor was questioned at Workington police station before being released on police bail until Saturday. Her bail has since been extended until later this month.

A spokeswoman for Cumbria police said: “Detectives in Workington have been conducting enquiries regarding the May 2013 local elections and concerns raised over proxy votes.

“As a result a woman, aged 49 from Maryport, was arrested on suspicion of being involved in proxy voting.”

She added: “All enquiries are being conducted in partnership with the local council and the Electoral Commission.”

Nick Griffin, chairman of the British National Party and an MEP, claims the allegations are false and that Mrs Charlton is being “persecuted” because of her political beliefs.

He cites Mrs Charlton’s previous arrest as evidence of the alleged persecution.

She was one of two councillors charged with committing a racially-aggravated public order offence last year.

The charge related to election material handed out by Mrs Charlton and fellow BNP candidate Clive Jefferson, of Cockermouth, in the run-up to last year’s county council elections.

The case went to court but was subsequently discontinued last November and both councillors were acquitted.

News & Star