Labour Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds broke election rules during campaign at Oxford
The privately educated leftwinger was fined £75 in her time as a student at Oxford University after breaking election rules in her successful campaign in 1998 to take the most senior student position.
Ms Dodds and the members of her student election slate, who were each fined £25, were reprimanded for for encouraging students at St Hilda’s to work for her campaign via email.
The revelations have raised doubts over Sir Keir Starmer’s decision to appoint the former MEP and Remain campaigner who is now the MP for Oxford East to the most senior role in his shadow cabinet.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: “Don’t Labour ask their Parliamentary candidates ‘Is there anything in your past which if it came to light would embarrass the Party?’ But then if they did perhaps they would not have any candidates.”
He added: “Labour don’t really get election rules but then given their position on Brexit they don’t really get democracy either.”
The revelations are an embarrassment for Sir Keir who led demands for Vote Leave to be investigated by the police in 2018 after it fell foul of election rules in a controversial ruling by the Electoral Commission.
Labour and Remainers have also made multiple claims about Aaron Banks and Leave.eu breaching data rules around email addresses for which Mr Banks has been cleared.
Labour have declined to comment about the story after being approached by the Sunday Express.
But when Ms Dodds first ran to be an MP in 2017 she was challenged by her local paper Cherwell.
She told them: “I did something that was at the time technically against the OUSU rules, and I didn’t realise it was against the rules,” she said.
“The RO [Returning Officer] said that he knew that I knew that.”
She also accused the student newspaper Michaelmas, which first ran the allegations, of political bias even though its editor Hadley Freeman became a Guardian columnist.
According to reports, Stephen Moses, Returning Officer of OUSU concluded that Dodds’ actions had “no determinable impact” on the election, and that her interpretation of ‘canvassing’ was “incorrect but understandable”.
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