We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

The end of Phil Woolas' Political Career

November 5, 2010 6:38 PM

Phil Woolas was MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth from 1997 and, until today, Labour's shadow Immigration Minster, appointed to that last role just a few weeks ago by new Labour Leader Ed Miliband. Today, a court judged that he had been guilty of an illegal practice during his election campaign worthy of declaring his 103 vote election win at the 2010 election void.

The court found that during the 2010 General Election Campaign, Phil Woolas' team made statements which untrue, that they had no reasonable grounds for believing them to be true and did not believe them to be true. in short, he lied - repeatedly, and knowingly. The court ended Mr Woolas's political career with the statement:

"The Respondent is therefore guilty of an illegal practice. That illegal practice was committed by him. We shall so report to the Speaker as required by sections 144 and 158 of the RPA 1983. Section 144 requires the court to determine whether the election of the Respondent as a Member of Parliament is void. We have determined that his election is void pursuant to section 159 of the RPA 1983 because the Respondent is personally guilty of an illegal practice."

You can read the full 42 page judgement by Justice Teare and Justice Griffith Williams at http://tinyurl.com/2v7m5oq

Unless Phil Woolas succeeds in an appeal, which seems massively unlikely given the unequivocal nature of the judgement, he ceases to be an MP. There will be a by-election in Oldham East and Saddleworth, at which he will be barred from standing. He can not stand for public office again for another three years. He has had his membership of the Labour Party suspended today (some may think, not before time). His political career ended today.

Phil Woolas will always remember the 5th of November.