Iain Dale has announced on his blog that he’s given Â£100 to the Phil Woolas defence fund because he believes that voters, not judges should decide elections.
But what does he think of this from a court ruling in 1911 and which featured in the Woolas judgement.
“The primary protection of this statute was the protection of the constituency against acts which would be fatal to freedom of election. There would be no true freedom of election, no real expression of the opinion of the constituency, if votes were given in consequence of the dissemination of a false statement as to the personal character of conduct of a candidateâ€¦”
How would Iain have felt if like a council candidate in London three years ago he had been labelled by a rival as a paedophile? That case, like Woolas ended in court with the outcome going against the author of the false statement.
I think Iain is wrong.