The Liberal Democrats have been celebrating today after they saw landslide victories in the local elections. However, one of their newly elected councillors has been accused of adopting unorthodox campaigning techniques.
Newly elected St Helens councillor David Smith has been accused of reaching into people's front doors in order to remove rival leaflets during the election campaign, reports the London Economic.
Residents of Mersyside council have filmed two alleged instances of Mr Smith reaching into people's letterboxes to remove the apparent campaign leaflets of rival parties, both incidents have been reported to the Merseyside police.
Labour Party councillor Jeanie Bell shared the videos to Twitter, where they have since gone viral.
Sharing the first video, she wrote:
Lib Dem candidate for Newton David Smith rifling through peoples letterboxes to take out what we just posted through. Politics is a tough place to be but this is not acceptable at all.
She then shared a second video, saying:
And another one!
@LibDems you probably need to tell your candidate quickly to stop taking our leaflets out of letter boxes. It's not a good look.
Speaking to the London Economic about the videos, Labour Party councillor Jeanie Bell said:
I believe it’s been reported to the police and until the police and or election commission investigation takes place it would be inappropriate for me to comment.
A spokesperson for the Merseyside police also told the publication:
This has been flagged to St Helens council.
The council’s monitoring officer is aware of the issue and is dealing with the issue now. The police have been made aware of the allegations but there is no criminal investigation as of yet.
Teresa Sims, leader of the St Helens Liberal Democrat group, also told the London Economic that the accusations were 'purely speculation at this time'.
The Conservatives and Labour have faced a backlash at the ballot box over the Brexit deadlock, with smaller parties seeing significant gains.
In England, the Tories have lost 800 seats and 28 councils overall, while the Liberal Democrats have gained more than 450 seats. Labour has lost more than 80 seats, reports the BBC.
indy100 has contacted the Liberal Democrats' press team and Teresa Sims, Leader of St Helens Liberal Democrat Group, for comment.