Shadow minister cautioned for election tweeting

Kerry McCarthy's use of Twitter during the campaign has landed her in hot water
Kerry McCarthy's use of Twitter during the campaign has landed her in hot water

By politics.co.uk staff

One of Ed Miliband's new shadow ministers has been cautioned by police for tweeting postal vote results before the polls had closed on election day.

Kerry McCarthy, who has since been appointed to a junior role in the shadow Cabinet with an economic brief, used Twitter to publish postal voting figures in April to support her claim that Labour would win Bristol East.

In the event Ms McCarthy did indeed win the seat, but the fact she publicised the figures before polling day makes her actions illegal under the Representation of the People Act.


When this was pointed out to her, the MP removed the post on Twitter, but it emerged today that she has been cautioned by Avon and Somerset police.

The maximum penalty for the offence of indicating which way voters had voted prior to the election is a £5,000 fine or six months in prison, so the newly appointed shadow minister may consider herself fortunate to avoid further sanctions.

In the previous government Ms McCarthy was chosen by former prime minister Gordon Brown as Labour's "Twitter tsar".

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