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Election candidate’s leaflets delayed after Royal Mail ‘human error’

George Etheridge, independent candidate for Newport West and Islwyn (Pic: Blackwood Town Council)

AN ELECTION candidate for Newport West and Islwyn says he has lodged an official complaint after leaflets promoting his campaign were allegedly delivered to homes in the wrong constituency.

George Etheridge, who is running as an independent candidate, said campaign leaflets were mistakenly delivered to properties in Brynawel and Cwmfelinfach – both of which fall under the neighbouring seat of Caerphilly after recent boundary changes.

Since then, bundles of leaflets which should have been distributed in parts of his constituency, such as Hafodyrynys and Pentwynmawr, have failed to be delivered, Mr Etheridge said.

The candidate has made an official complaint to Royal Mail, but he is concerned the mix-up will have an impact on his chances in the general election on July 4, when he will be one of seven people vying for the newly-created Newport West and Islwyn seat.

Royal Mail said the issue was down to “human error” and has been rectified.

Some people have asked him whether he is “just a paper candidate”, Mr Etheridge said.

“I’ve had to pay for them [the leaflets] out of my own pocket. It’s something I’ve saved up for.”

Mr Etheridge said his election leaflets were delivered to a Royal Mail sorting office in Cardiff in line with election procedures.

Since then, however, he has been left questioning the effectiveness of the distribution system, which he believes may have been affected by the recent boundary changes in the Caerphilly and Newport local authority areas.

Mr Etheridge said he spent around £1,600 to have the leaflets produced, and in light of the alleged errors with delivery, added: “That’s a lot of money for a cock-up.”

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Following Mr Etheridge’s complaint, a Royal Mail spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “We have a specialist elections team that plans every aspect of the elections delivery programmes and works closely with local authorities to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

“We have investigated concerns with the delivery of election leaflets and found one isolated incidence of delay due to human error, but no wider issues. This has been rectified and all leaflets have now been delivered to the correct addresses.”

The candidates for Newport West and Islwyn in the upcoming general election are:

  • Etheridge, George – Independent
  • Ham, Brandon – Plaid Cymru
  • Hamilton, Mike – Welsh Liberal Democrats
  • Jones, Nick – Conservative Party
  • Jones, Ruth – Welsh Labour
  • Taylor, Paul – Reform UK
  • Vosper, Kerry – Green Party