'Racists' scribbled on leaflets

Royal Mail under fire after postie caught defacing Reform UK leaflets

Reform is campaigning to limit immigration
Reform is campaigning to limit immigration

A Royal Mail postman has been caught on camera defacing Reform UK leaflets before posting them through voters’ letterboxes.

Recorded by a neighbour’s doorbell camera, the postie appeared to take out a pen and scribble on the leaflets; a separate image seen by the X account Politics UK, allegedly of leaflets posted in the building, shows two Reform leaflets scrawled with the word ‘racists’, with one torn in two. 

Throughout the campaign, Reform has found itself wading through negative publicity over its candidates views on immigration and race. It has now fired more than 10 candidates since the party gained its first MP in March.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We take our role in elections very seriously and will investigate any incident or allegation of election material being defaced.

“We are aware of the video and have been conducting immediate enquiries. It’s our priority to ensure all candidate mail is delivered to a high level of service.”

Reform’s own spokesperson responded to the video, speaking to The Express: “This video and picture appear to show blatant criminal damage by a Royal Mail employee in an attempt to interfere with the democratic process.

“The Royal Mail should have no problem identifying him and taking disciplinary action and we would expect the police to show some interest as well.”

The constituency is believed to be Worsley and Eccles, where Craig Birtwistle is standing for Reform. Under electoral law, the postman could be charged with electoral fraud, should the claim that Birtwistle or Reform candidates in general are 'racists' be considered false. Birtwistle's X (Twitter) account limits who can see his posts, though it has been reported in The Times that the candidate's social media activity included him liking a post calling for a "complete ban" on Islam.

The incident is only the latest event in a continuing rollercoaster of poor publicity for Royal Mail. Last week, the firm’s parent company, International Distribution Services, was served with a £878m collective action claim, which alleges anti-competitive behaviour in the bulk mail market.

Filed on behalf of Bulk Mail Claim Ltd, the suit represents an estimated 290,000 class members allegedly overcharged by Royal Mail who paid for or purchased bulk mail services after 10 January 2014.

It alleges that Royal Mail effectively cut off competition in the sector, resulting in inflated charges.

In late May, International Distribution Services accepted a £3.6bn buyout offer from Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský’s firm, EP Group.

The general election will take place on 4 July 2024.