A Ukip candidate faces a police investigation because he handed out sausage rolls and sandwiches to potential voters.
Kim Rose, who is standing in Southampton Itchen, passed round the snacks at a party event in which the snooker star Jimmy White played pool with local children. Mr Rose has been told to report to police over an allegation of “treating” – trying to “corruptly influence” voters.
“We laid on teas, coffees, sandwiches and some sausage rolls,” he said. “Now I’ve been reported for allegations of treating.
“Maybe it’s a bit naïve, but all the intentions were good. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I’m sure people aren’t going to change their mind for a sausage roll.”
The Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, said: “It’s utter nonsense. There seems all sorts of cases in politics of people behaving badly and doing things wrong, abusing their positions. Having a few sausage rolls I don’t really think counts as one of those.”
Hampshire Police said: “We have a received an allegation of ‘treating’ by a prospective parliamentary candidate, contrary to the Representation of the People Act 1983. We are looking into the complaint. No arrests have been made.”
Electoral Commission rules say a candidate is “guilty of treating if either before, during or after an election they directly or indirectly give or provide any food, drink, entertainment or provision to corruptly influence any voter to vote or refrain from voting”.