DOES Postman Pat have a hidden agenda? That is the question that many across the country are now asking after leaflets that the Royal Mail were legally obliged to deliver before polling day didn’t hit doormats until after this month’s election.
With many postmen members of Labour Party-associated unions, it is no wonder why constituencies such as Peterborough have been blighted in the past with rumours of postal workers helping push the socialist cause by abusing their access to postal votes and campaign literature for rival political parties.
This General election was no different, with scores of voters from across the country beginning to see leaflets and campaign literature asking them to vote for Tory and Brexit Party candidates, despite the election being days ago.
On Royal Mail’s website, it states: “Every candidate standing in an election is entitled to send one communication via Royal Mail, with no charge to them for postage, to every eligible elector on the relevant electoral register(s) or to every domestic address within the relevant electoral area.”
But while these leaflets are then expected to be delivered in a timely fashion – and well before polling day – it seems that, in various constituencies – staff within the Royal Mail sat on them. But they conveniently however don’t appear to have sat on any pro-Labour campaign literature, which seems to have made its way to thousands of letterboxes across the country, with no reports to date of any delayed Labour material.
Similar incidents have been reported to VoteWatch from residents in areas such as Coventry, Caerphilly, and most of all, in Hartlepool, where the vote on election day was inevitably split between the Tories (11,869) and the Brexit Party’s Richard Tice (10,603) to allow a Labour’s Mike Hill to win with 15,464 votes.
Martin Sharp, a resident from Hartlepool was among the first to raise the suspicion over the suddenly delayed arrival of election leaflets in his area. “I usually just chuck stuff like that away” he said. “But suddenly I realised it was an election flyer, which I thought was a bit odd. Then when I read it it was basically the Brexit Party telling me to vote for them in something that happened two days before”.
Martin wasn’t the only person in his area to have reported the same experience, with confused residents from across the staunchly pro-Brexit constituency still coming forward to report similar accounts of suspiciously delayed democracy.
Another resident, Brian Wray, reported the same: “I live in Hartlepool and received mine on Saturday, 2 days after election”.
Other residents then began getting in touch – from Hartlepool and other constituencies.
VoteWatch is continuing to investigate a flurry of complaints of a similar nature from across the United Kingdom.
The Royal Mail’s process for election candidates is a precise and efficient one, including having access to an Election Support team, having your artwork checked, certified, mailing plan created and approved, and a guarantee that it will be delivered.
In recent months the postal service came under increased suspicion after a major Corbyn-supporting postal union flexed its muscles, threatening to interfere in the electoral process by planning a strike that would prevent the delivery of postal votes during the December general election.
VoteWatch has contacted Royal Mail for comment but had received no reply by the time this article was published.