We live in a fraught era, where truth has been demoted as something essential. This is across all of society – look at the way Covid myths have slipped effortlessly into mainstream discourse – but nowhere does it have greater prominence than politics. Why politicians have always been prone to lies – oh how we chortled at Alan Clarke MP admitting to be ‘Economical with the actualité – we have never lived in an age where lying isn’t merely used as an occasional tool, but as a core tenet of power. Boris Johnson, sacked multiple times for lying, now engages in fibbing, as Truman described Nixon – ‘just to keep his hand in’. Psychologists will probably be able to identify something here, some disorder that gives the liar a thrill to lie so blatantly, possibly related to the shoplifter who could easily afford what they steal.
As it is with fish, the rot starts from the head down. The lack of consequence has emboldened Conservative politicians at all levels of government to lie. Orwell said that in a time of lies, to tell the truth is a revolutionary act. Our MP, Darren Henry, is clearly no revolutionary. I’m still waiting for the finding of his promised ‘investigation’ into Carl Husted. Lying is corrosive to a society, and once a populace colludes in untruth that society is broken. Tomorrow, vote against the liars. Vote for those who want to use power for the greater good, not for power itself.
One such aspiring politician to be wary of it the County Council candidate for Stapleford & Broxtowe Central. She’s told a rather huge lie, and one that, as Paul Swift explains here, might actually have legal consequences where she’ll need to find a (real) solicitor…
With the honesty and integrity of national politicians currently being an area of some scrutiny and interest, it was disappointing to discover that a local candidate standing for election to Nottinghamshire County Council on 6 May was being accused of having made false or misleading claims.
A news release issued by Nottinghamshire Liberal Democrats makes serious allegations that a Conservative candidate for Stapleford & Broxtowe Central is to be interviewed by the Fraud Squad after claiming to be a Solicitor. Kashmir Purewal, who is standing alongside existing Conservative County Councillor John Doddy, was described as being a qualified Solicitor on an election leaflet (pictured).
The claim is also repeated on the website of a local school where she is a governor and was also until recently on the Broxtowe Conservatives website. However, when concerns about these claims were looked into this uncovered a possible offence of falsely claiming to be a Solicitor and the matter was referred to the police. This is a matter of public interest for local electors as it is both a potentially serious offence to falsely claim to be a qualified Solicitor and in this instance could also be a possible breach of the Representation of the People Act. A spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats said: “When we became aware of concerns over Kashmir Purewal’s claims we passed the matter to Broxtowe Councillor David Watts, who is a Solicitor. His checks revealed that this was a false claim and as a result we notified the Conservatives some weeks ago, well before the nominations for elections closed.
However, they not only failed to retract the false claims, they also nominated her for both the borough and county council seats. We did also try to contact Ms Purewal over her claims but she ignored our messages. When approached regarding the issue a spokesperson for Broxtowe Labour Party said that: “We have seen her claims about being a qualified solicitor yet this is seemingly untrue. It is clearly a shameful attempt to dupe the residents of Stapleford and Broxtowe Central. Honesty should always be the top priority for someone standing for elected office.”
Councillor Tim Hallam, who is standing with Hannah Land in what looks likely to be a keenly contested election for Stapleford and Broxtowe Central, said: “Honesty and trustworthiness are vital components in being a councillor, so it shows a huge amount of contempt that a candidate would repeatedly lie to voters. I think it demonstrates that some people consider power to be more important than integrity.”
Details of all candidates standing in the elections on Thursday 6 May can be found on the Broxtowe Borough Council website at https://www.broxtowe.gov.uk/for-you/elections-voting/upcoming-elections/ Both Kashmir Purewal and Broxtowe Conservatives Association were approached for comment but have not yet not replied. The Broxtowe Conservatives webpage was recently updated and now states that: “Kashmir is a Qualified Lawyer and was the owner of Sunnyside Post Office/One Stop Franchise in Chilwell for 24 years. Have a wide range of business experience and issues most important in the community.”
With campaigns such as “Take Note Then Vote” being promoted locally by news platform NG9 News it will be interesting to see what note electors make of these allegations and whether this impacts on votes cast for both the individual in question and the party that nominated her. PAUL SWIFT. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JAY MARTIN / MATT TURPIN.