Will jumping gun lead to Electoral Commission probe?

Electoral Commission -social-pic

If the present Government manages to see out its full term, Parliament will dissolve on Tuesday 17th December, 2024. Five years after it first met. Every general election since 1935 has been held on a Thursday and, accordingly, it seems certain that the one that would follow such a dissolution would then be held on the last Thursday before the statutory period of 25 working days have elapsed, thereafter:

Polling day would likely be, therefore, 23rd January, 2025.

It is generally held that Thursday polls encourage more people to vote. The hypothesis being that elections on a Friday would have had lower turnouts given the voting population’s urge  to begin their weekends unencumbered.

Saturday and Sunday were believed to have been ruled out back then, given the need to pay overtime for polling staff to work at the weekend. Very many of whom are local authority employees.

On 24th March 2022, the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act was repealed. This means that the King can dissolve the Government at the request of the Prime Minister, which would then lead to a general election.

After the Act was repealed, Minister for the Cabinet Office at the time, Michael Ellis KC, said:

“The Fixed-Term Parliaments Act was not fit for purpose, causing constitutional chaos in 2019 and delaying the Government acting on people’s priorities.

“At critical moments, we must trust the British public’s good judgment. Elections give the public a voice, and it’s right that we return to a tried-and-tested system that allows them to take place when needed.”

“As a result, the Prime Minister can request a dissolution from the King which, if granted, would allow them to call a general election at any time”.

That short ramble through history, and statute, has certainly educated (and entertained) the author of this article, Neil Wilby, and it is hoped that his reader(s) will be similarly entertained. The relevance of it unfolds shortly.

Barring extraordinary circumstances, and an incumbent Government holding an 80 seat majority performing a death wish, the next general election is just under two years away.

Extraordinary then that an infamous Bradford-born, unemployed, politically homeless conspiracy theorist from Mossley, Tameside should announce his intended candidacy for that very same poll as early last week.

Emerging from a police cell, following a dawn raid arrest over malicious communication suspicions, still dressed in a detainee’s uniform of grey jogging pants and sweater, 49 year old former Tandoori takeaway worker, Raja Miah, announced to a group of seven supporters that he was going to oppose the sitting Member of Parliament for Oldham West and Royton, Jim McMahon, also a high profile Shadow Minister and tipped as a future Prime Minister.

Describing the location in Parliament Square, Oldham, adjacent to the landmark Annie Kenney statue, as ‘symbolic’, he likened his speech to the one delivered by Winston Churchill on the nearby Oldham Town Hall steps over a century ago. Churchill, of course, became MP for Oldham in the 1900 general election under a Conservative flag. Defecting to the Liberals in 1904 and leaving Oldham and winning the seat for Manchester North West in 1906. As Miah did, leaving Oldham (but not winning anything) just short of a century later (in 2004), to use his own words, ‘leaving behind the small town in which I grew up’.

Raja’s impromptu speech followed a failed ‘insurgency’ by his support group, whom self-style as The Rabble, that same afternoon (9th February, 2023 a date for historians everywhere to note) when he asserted that he and they would ‘take back my town’.

In the call to arms, on his frequently banned social media platform, ‘Recusant Nine’, Miah did not make clear which town: Bradford, Mossley or Oldham.

It has since emerged that Raja is going to ‘defeat tyranny’ in Oldham, he says, leaving the residents of both the town where he has lived for nearly twenty years, and the West Riding city where he was born, to fend for themselves against ‘enemy forces’.

His Twitter biography has been changed and states boldly that he is ‘Independent Parliamentary Candidate for Oldham West & Royton’. His two most recent Recusant Nine Facebook posts are signed off in the same way. Along with what are purported on Recusant Nine to be his campaigning platforms: ‘Anti Pakistani Rape Gang I Anti Cartel I Anti Corruption’.


But therein lie a number of problems. Most immediate is that not only is he jumping the gun by describing himself as a ‘Parliamentary Candidate’, he is falling foul of the statutory regulator whom, no doubt, will become familiar with the name ‘Raja Miah’ in the coming weeks and months and, possibly, years, Although many in Oldham (and probably Mossley and Bradford) believe that this latest narcissistic, money-making charade will not last that long.

The Electoral Commission clearly states that no person wishing to stand in a general election may describe themselves as a ‘Parliamentary Candidate’ until they have paid the £500 and their nomination has been approved. After negotiating some quite stringent hurdles (read more here).

At best he is a ‘Prospective’ Parliamentary Candidate, although that handle is usually reserved for activists who have given noteworthy service to a political party over a number of years and undergone an arduous selection process. Raja was ignominiously kicked out of the only political party of which he was ever a member, in August, 2020. Labour having grown sick and tired of his antics on-line. Most notably, his violent fantasies and persistent, mendacious lies across his various Recusant Nine platforms.

There are good reasons to believe that Miah will fall at several of those Electoral Commission hurdles. Not least, although he robustly denies any criminal wrongdoing, the fact that he may be either on police or court bail (or both) or serving a prison sentence or suspended sentence (read more here). There is also the self-admitted spectre of bankruptcy as he faces yet another defamation claim from a Labour councillor (read more here). The full, rather lengthy, rationale will be the subject of a separate Neil Wilby Media article in the coming days.

A third Neil Wilby Media article will comprehensively debunk the three ‘Anti’ strands of his campaign and sign off by renewing the call to debate his claims, publicly, as a prospective MP, in open assembly (read more here). Local charities benefiting to the tune of £2,000, simply by dint of his appearance, has to be an assured vote-winner one might readily muse.

In the meantime, the Electoral Commission has been notified of the Raja Miah infraction already identified. It is almost certain to be the first in a lengthy series.

That same Twitter bio also identifies him as being from Oldham. Which is, of course, yet another blatant Raja Miah lie. Not a great start on the road to Westminster – and another matter that the Commission is being asked to consider.

Page last updated Tuesday 14th February, 2023 at 1720hrs

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© Neil Wilby 2015-2023. Unauthorised use, or reproduction, of the material contained in this article, without permission from the author, is strictly prohibited. Extracts from, and links to, the article (or blog) may be used, provided that credit is given to Neil Wilby Media, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

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