George Galloway instructs firm to begin legal action after campaign advertising dispute during Batley and Spen by-election

George Galloway has threatened to take legal action against Kirklees Council after the local authority took down the politician's campaign material in the run-up to the by-election held on Thursday (1st July).

Mr Galloway, who ran in the by-election, which concluded with a narrow Labour win, was asked by the local authority to take the banners down after the council received a complaint about the legibility of information showing the origin of his campaign material.

Kirklees found that the posters' imprint, which is the required text that shows the source of the political advert, had a font size that was half the size it is required to be and requested that Mr Galloway take the posters down. The candidate failed to do so, Kirklees said, and council officers were consequently sent to remove the material.

In a tweet, Mr Galloway said he had instructed XYZ Law to begin legal actions "against @UKLabour and several news organisations for sundry breaches of both criminal and civil law" in relation to the Batley and Spen by-election.

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A Kirklees Council spokesperson said: "Kirklees Council does allow candidates to place posters on council street furniture during the election campaign period.'

"However, if the candidate chooses to use council street furniture, the materials need to meet certain requirements. One of the conditions in Kirklees is that all imprints on these election materials have to have a font size of at least 12.

“Imprints on posters and leaflets are really important for making sure the source of election materials is clear and transparent for local voters. In this case, the council received a complaint about some of the posters. We investigated the issue and found they did not met the standards required. We then asked, several times, for the campaign to correct the problem and when that did not happen, council officers removed the posters.

The spokesperson added: "These rules are set out in our election campaign policy which all candidates received as part of their nomination pack."

Adam Carey