News

Alleged SU election scandal: a silence on Gair Rhydd

by Jess Warren, Lowri Pitcher, Tomos Evans & Sam Tilley

Gair Rhydd were going to run a story on alleged SU election scandal. We have since been silenced.

Gair Rhydd received a number of different and controversial allegations of foul play and dirty politics over the course of elections last week.

Up until Thursday 28 February, Gair Rhydd’s front page covered these topics. On the evening of Thursday 28, Gair Rhydd received a call from an election candidate.

They requested that their side of the story be unconditionally withdrawn, having allegedly been placed under pressure from a member of the Sabbatical team.

In a campaign rife with allegations of foul play, Gair Rhydd has wholeheartedly tried to uncover the truth behind these claims but has been frustrated by actions of some people that wanted to stop this story.

It is important to note that the Students’ Union is not silencing us. But, we have received a demand to pull this story, due to alleged fear within the Sabbatical team that the fallout of the story would hinder the relationship between Sabbatical officers for the remainder of their term in office.

There were concerns that this story could cause a scandal that could compromise many personal and public relationships.

Numerous other sources have come forward under the veil of anonymity to share similar accounts of foul play.

Since the start of elections many complaints have been formally lodged with Student Voice. An SU spokesperson stated that: “At present a total of 14 issues have been considered by the Union regarding elections. Ten originated from students as complaints.

“Of these ten, seven relate to a reported breach of rules by candidates or their campaigners and three relate to Union activity. Of the seven complaints about candidates, two have been upheld and action taken.”

For action to be taken with a candidate by the Union, a complaint must reach these three criteria: “Is the action a breach of the election rules? Is there evidence of a candidate or team members actions in doing so? Was an unfair advantage gained?”

A spokesperson from the SU stated: “A number of the complaints or issues raised were not considered to be a breach of the election rules as judged by the independent and external Returning Officer.

“Where the behaviour of candidates or their supporters is within the election rules, it is for the electorate to make a judgement call of whether the behaviour they see is reflective of what they wish to see in their elected representatives.”

We feel this is a news story that is undeniably in the student interest and therefore we are publishing as much truth as we legally can without fear of repercussion to our sources, or ourselves.

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