St Helens councillor still under police investigation over 'leaflet-gate'

CounDavid Smith
CounDavid Smith

A Liberal Democrat councillor caught taking Labour leaflets from houses in Newton-le-Willows in the run up to the local elections remains under investigation, Merseyside Police has confirmed.

CCTV footage of Coun David Smith was widely circulated on social media on the day of May’s local elections.

One video showed Coun Smith, who was successfully elected to represent Newton, reaching into a letterbox on the Vulcan Estate to retrieve a leaflet, and then appearing to scrunch it up and put it in his pocket.

A second video from the same estate also shows Coun Smith reaching into someone’s letterbox.

Following the elections, Merseyside Police said it had launched an investigation into the two incidents.

A police spokesman has now confirmed that Coun Smith has since attended an interview voluntarily for questioning.

No action has been taken against Coun Smith, although the investigation has not yet concluded.

“The allegation against David Smith remains under investigation,” the police spokesman said.

Coun Smith was approached for comment.

Speaking at the time the incidents came to light in May, Coun Smith admitted taking Labour leaflets from two homes on the Vulcan Estate.

Coun Smith told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he removed two Labour leaflets from two properties that were in “poor condition”, before pushing his own through the letterbox.

The Lib Dem councillor denied doing this at any other properties than the ones shown in the footage.

“I apologise for any offence I have caused,” Coun Smith said at the time.

“Looking at it now I should not have taken it out. I apologise profusely.”