Cops probe councillor who bought cakes for old folk

8 Novembr 2013 COPS are probing claims that a Labour councillor bought tea and cakes for old folk days before she was elected in Thurrock, Essex.
Sue Shinnick won the Stifford Clays seat on Thursday, October 17 with 646 votes, beating Tory Danny Nicklen into second place with 570 votes.
The police’s probe surrounds a claim Coun Shinnick bought tea and cakes for elderly residents at a sheltered housing complex, 11 days before her win.
Labour has dismissed the allegation as “a pathetic and politically motivated stunt”.
Police were contacted after Ms Shinnick made a lunchtime visit to Elizabeth Gardens retirement homes in Long Lane, Grays, Essex, on Sunday, October 6.
An East of England Labour Party spokesman said: “This is a pathetic and politically motivated stunt.
“No-one who cared about Thurrock would be wasting the police’s time with ridiculous unfounded allegations.”
An Essex police spokesman said: “Police are continuing to investigate an allegation of treating in Thurrock.”
Information provided by the Electoral Commission states: “A person is guilty of treating if either before, during or after an election they directly or indirectly give or provide any food, drink, entertainment or provision to corruptly influence any voter to vote or refrain from voting. Treating requires a corrupt intent - it does not apply to ordinary hospitality.”
Coun Shinnick won her by-election last month, which was called following the death of longstanding Stifford Clays councillor Diana Hale in August.
Coun Shinnick did not respond to several attempts to contact her.