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The published minutes of the High Speed Bill Ctte for the 12th March contain an interesting revelation from Stop Hs2’s Joe Rukin on his stunt to stand for MP in the 2010 election. It was all a cynical scam to avoid paying the Royal Mail! Here’s the extract from the minutes:

74. CHAIR: Are you a candidate on this occasion or not?

75. MR RUKIN: No. That was just a publicity stunt to get leaflets to everyone in the constituency for 800 quid.

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/oral-evidence/120315_Uncorrected_Morning.pdf

The ‘800 quid’ Rukin refers to is the deposit a candidate must pay to stand in an election (it’s actually £500 but then Rukin’s never been good with facts).

The constituency of Kenilworth & Southam contained 64,362 voters in 2010. At the time, a 2nd class stamp was 32p, so it should have cost StopHs2 £20,595 to distribute his anti-HS2 leaflets. By getting the taxpayer to subsidise the mailshot by disguising it as an electoral leaflet, stopHs2 saved a fortune

Perhaps someone with either knowledge of the postal and/or electoral system might like to answer this unanswered question. Do Royal Mail get reimbursed to deliver election letters out of taxpayers money via the Electoral Commission or similar? If so. Rukin has surely fiddled the taxpayer?

The irony is of course, it saved stopHs2 money but it didn’t save their campaign. That was holed below the waterline when a massive majority of 452 MPs voted to pass the Hs2 Hybrid Bill & it’s been slowly sinking ever since…

UPDATE:

The Cabinet Office have confirmed that the Taxpayers DOES pay for the delivery of the minimum of one leaflet for each candidate in a General Election. This means there’s little doubt that Rukin’s cynical election tactic has duped taxpayers of thousands of pounds.