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Police report Labour election literature over chief constable photograph

PUBLISHED: 16:40 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 19:32 22 November 2019

Norfolk chief constable Simon Bailey. Picture: Denise Bradley

Norfolk chief constable Simon Bailey. Picture: Denise Bradley

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Norfolk police have referred general election material being used by Labour election candidates to the Electorial Commission - because it includes chief constable Simon Bailey's photograph.

Norfolk police have reported Labour election literature to the Electoral Commission because of the use of a photograph of chief constable Simon Bailey. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYNorfolk police have reported Labour election literature to the Electoral Commission because of the use of a photograph of chief constable Simon Bailey. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Labour literature, a version of which is known to have been used by two Norfolk candidates - Norwich South candidate Clive Lewis and Norwich North candidate Karen Davis - features a photograph and headline taken from the Eastern Daily Press website.

Above a photograph of Mr Bailey is the Eastern Daily Press headline from October 2015 stating 'Chief constable warns cuts to Norfolk police could see fewer bobbies on the beat and detectives not sent to every burglary'.

And Mr Bailey is unhappy that Labour has made use of it in campaigning.

He said: "As a police officer you must be impartial. Policing is strictly non-party political and we carry out our duties without fear or favour.

"I was therefore disappointed to see my words and photograph, originally published in local news media, used in political campaign material for a local candidate.

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"I'm acutely aware of the power of perception and therefore wish to publicly clarify I have no desire to promote any political view and in no way endorse such material."

The force has referred the matter to the Electoral Commission.

However, it is not yet clear which candidate's literature Norfolk police has been reported to the Electoral Commission, given it features in the election literature of at least two of the Labour Norfolk candidates.

Norfolk police were not able to confirm which candidate's literature had been reported, at this time.

A Labour East spokesperson said: "In the newspaper article that was featured in a leaflet, the Chief Constable expressed his concern that government cuts could stop Norfolk Police protecting people.

"Labour shares those concerns, which is why we'll fund the police properly."

It is understood the Electoral Commission have said this is not a matter for them. Labour does not believe there has been any breach of electoral law, but has apologised to the Chief Constable for using his image without his permission.

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