International observers choose to oversee fairness of East Devon General Election

Returning Officer Mark Williams, EDDC CEO must be delighted.

“An international mission to ensure elections are fair has chosen East Devon among eight UK constituencies to be monitored on June 8.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) has announced that the constituency will be one of its target seats for the general election.

Tory Sir Hugo Swire is bidding to retain the seat – one of the safest in the county – and see off a challenge from popular local independent candidate Claire Wright.

Ms Wright, who finished second in 2015, has been selected by a tactical voting website as the best option for non Tories to topple the long-serving former cabinet minister, the only independent to receive such an endorsement.

An Election Assessment Mission (EAM) will be conducted in the area from June 4 to 9 by Phillip Paulwell, an MP from Jamaica who will lead a team of Observers from the Commonwealth.

The Mission, which is being arranged by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK Branch (CPA UK) as it did in the 2015 and 2010 general elections, will also observe elections in seven other UK constituencies to oversee:

post-election complaints or appeals

The team will compromise of three parliamentarians and one election official from Tonga who will monitor Election Day procedures at polling stations, meet with candidates, returning officers, local officials, community groups and other relevant stakeholders in order to assess the conduct of the election.

Head of Mission Sebastian Pillay an MP from the Seychelles, said: “Exercising the right to vote is a fundamental part of democracy.

“CPA UK’s Election Assessment Mission will seek to ensure the UK election process is legitimate and representative of the electorate.

“On behalf of the team, we look forward to engaging with the democratic process in the UK.”

Chief Executive of CPA UK, Andrew Tuggey added: “This third UK Election Assessment Mission is a vital element of CPA UK’s commitment to enhance openness and transparency in parliamentary democracy across the Commonwealth. Assessing elections upholds the core values of the Commonwealth.

The following will observe events in East Devon:

Phillip Paulwell CD MP (lead observer) – Jamaica
-Hon. Yvette D’ath MP – Australia
-Hon. Ichungw’ah Antony Kimani MP – Kenya
-Rt Hon. Lord Dalgety QC – Tonga”

Tory defence minister slams Corbyn for things said by Boris Johnson!

And this twit is our Defence Secretary? Build your bunkers!

“Defence Secretary Michael Fallon was left red-faced on live television when he slammed Boris Johnson’s statement on terrorism thinking that the quote was made by Jeremy Corbyn.

The Tory Cabinet member began attacking the Labour leader on Channel 4 News last night in response to Mr Corbyn saying we have to admit that the ‘war on terror is not working’.

Channel 4 presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy asked Mr Fallon to respond to another quote: ‘Isn’t it possible that things like the Iraq war did not create the problem of murderous Islamic fundamentalists, though the war has unquestionably sharpened the resentments felt by such people in this country and given them a new pretext?

Thinking the quote had been made as part of the Labour leader’s speech, Mr Fallon took the opportunity to dismiss and condemn the words. He said: ‘Well they are not entitled to excuses.’ But the words were actually said by Boris Johnson in response to the 7/7 bombings in London in 2005.

Mr Guru-Murthy said: ‘What I just put to you was not Jeremy Corbyn, it was Boris Johnson.’

The presenter then read out more quotes from Boris Johnson that put a blushing Mr Fallon in even more of a pickle. Mr Guru-Murthy said: ‘He goes on to say, “The Iraq war did not introduce the poison into our bloodstream but, yes, the war did help to potentiate that poison”. “It is difficult to deny that they have a point, the ‘told-you-so’ brigade”.’

The Defence Secretary then got his words jumbled as he tried to explain his way out of the blunder. He said: ‘Well I don’t agree with that.’

Mr Guru-Murthy was quick to ensure Mr Fallon continued to enlarge the hole he had dug for himself.

The presenter said: ‘So Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, is wrong?’
When Mr Fallon refused to agree, on the premise that he did not have the direct quote in front of him, Mr Guru-Murthy watched the politician squirm as he continued to press him.

The presenter said he didn’t understand how the politician could refrain from commenting on the words when he had just heard them read out.

Speaking in London yesterday Mr Corbyn, who opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as air strikes against terrorist targets in Syria, said Labour would ‘change what we do abroad’ if it won power.

He stressed that the link between foreign policy and terrorism ‘in no way reduces the guilt of those who attack our children’ and could not ‘remotely excuse, or even adequately explain, outrages like this week’s massacre’.
Terrorist Salman Abedi killed 22 people and injured 119 when he blew himself up at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester Arena on Monday evening.”

And now the really, really bad news

The DCC health and social care committee chaired by Sarah Randall-Johnson also has on it DCC Councillor Phil Twiss and EDDC representative member Paul Diviani.

Neither has ever been seen at health service cut protest meetings to save threatened hospitals (either in their council or personal capacities) and both known (along with Randall Johnson) for enthusiastically, even possibly zealously, toeing the Tory party line and all gung-ho to give Mrs May their utter devotion. And they had to be dragged kicking and screaming by EDDC Independents to stand up for local services still being viciously cut.

Luckily, we still have Independent Councillor Claire Wright to represent US. And one Independent Claire Wright is worth more than three local slavish Tories!