THE authorities should do more to investigate whether an election leaflet offering free solar panels amounted to bribery, it has been claimed.
A canvassing leaflet offering residents free solar panels by 2017 was last month reported to Bradford Council amid claims it breached election law.
The leaflet was distributed on behalf of Councillor Imdad Hussain (Peace), who had been seeking re-election to Bradford Council in the Heaton ward, but in the end lost his seat.
It included a logo for Bradford EcoPower, a green energy organisation Mr Hussain founded in 2011.
The leaflet was reported to Bradford Council's chief executive Tony Reeves by the Respect Party's general secretary Ron McKay.
In his role as returning officer, Mr Reeves is responsible for ensuring elections are run effectively and that both voters and candidates have a positive experience.
But Mr McKay said so far, he has received “absolutely nothing” in response to his complaint.
Mr Reeves said while he did receive the complaint, his role as returning officer was legally restricted to the administration of elections only.
He said: "The Council is not responsible for investigating complaints relating to election campaign literature so any complaints of this nature are logged and candidates and agents are recommended to seek their own legal advice or contact the Electoral Commission for advice."
But a frustrated Mr McKay said: “It isn't up to us, surely, to complain to the Electoral Commission and the police when the returning officer is the one charged with running a fair election? It's up to him to refer it on, surely?”
A spokesman for the Electoral Commission said a complaint of that nature would be a matter for the police, while a police spokesman said no-one had either complained directly to them or referred the complaint on to them.
Mr Hussain has completely refuted any wrongdoing and has stood by the leaflet, saying Bradford EcoPower was “a community organisation not a private company”.
He said he hadn't heard from the authorities about the complaint.
He said: "I don't expect to, really, because I think the Respect Party have got the wrong end of the stick. It's not a private company, it's a community organisation and that's what we do - we promote renewable energy."