Political

Three things to remember about the Phil Woolas case

1. The case of deceitful Labour MP Phil Woolas has not set any significant legal precedent – there have been no important new definitions, clarifications or qualifications of the law relating to candidates making false statements. The law now is still the same as the law looked to be before this case started.

2. Unless an MP was elected in 2010 (or by-election shortly before), any MP criticising the law under which Phil Woolas was convicted is also an MP who had opportunities to change the law previously – and never suggested doing so in Parliament.

3. The Labour government introduced far more stringent rules to apply to local councillors about what they can or can’t say about other councillors or election candidates.

UPDATE: I should add to point (1) that there are some legal details and process points that the case has addressed and on which it is likely to be cited as precedent in future. However they are not about the central thrust of the law. I’ll blog more about them in the next few days.

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