Claims of racism and spiritual intimidation in Pendle

The Lancashire Telegraph reports:

An election row has broken out in Pendle over claims of racism and religious intimidation in messages sent to residents.

Conservative Council leader Joe Cooney has written to Ed Miliband asking the Labour party to investigate Cllr Mohammed Hanif after he sent text messages to voters in Brierfield and Reedley urging them to vote for Asian candidates.

It comes as Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for the borough, Azhar Ali, has said he had no involvement with a WhatsApp message sent urging people to vote for him because he was ‘blessed by the Prophet Mohammed’s living descendent’…

One of three [text] messages sent urged people to ‘select ALL ASIAN candidates’…

It has been suggested that an investigation could be launched if the content [of the WhatsApp message] was found to constitute unlawful ‘spiritual influence’ under the Representation of the People Act 1983.

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