'Prank or incompetence' blamed by Dan Snow for Brexit Party postal vote claim
TV HISTORIAN Dan Snow has backed down over claims that a Brexit Party leaflet was delivered to his New Forest home in the same envelope as his postal ballot.
Pro-remain Mr Snow (40), who lives in Lepe, caused a storm when he told his more than 270,000 followers on Twitter on Sunday that the campaign material had dropped out as he opened his European election voting documents, as reported in the A&T.
But a day later he said the confusion must have been caused by either a prank or “incompetence on my part”.
New Forest District Council, which organises voting locally, investigated his claims and by Monday afternoon concluded Mr Snow had suffered a “misunderstanding” and mixed up his post.
A council spokesperson said: “We have looked into the suggestion that political communications were contained in with postal voting material.
“The postal voting packs were put together at the council and not by external contractors. The packs are double-checked.
“This process means that it is very unlikely that a political leaflet would have been included in a postal voting pack.
“Rather, it is likely that the leaflet was delivered on or around the same day as the postal voting pack, which is how this misunderstanding may have arisen.”
Mr Snow told the A&T on Monday morning he had been “sure” the leaflet was in the same envelope as he opened a bundle of post, having been away a lot. The Brexit Party material had also carried his address, he said.
But after NFDC announced the conclusion of its investigation, he agreed there must have been a mistake on his part.
He tweeted: “I'm very grateful they have looked into it and short of other people coming forward I'm very happy to assume it was a prank or incompetence on my part.”
He came under fire on Twitter and was accused of making the original claims for political purposes, having appealed for other people to report if they had experienced the same issue.
Mr Snow has argued against leaving the EU and helped pay for coaches that carried several hundred New Forest protestors to a march in London in October last year demanding a fresh referendum.
In 2016 the New Forest voted in favour of leaving the EU by 58% to 42%.
Voters will go to the polls in the European elections on Thursday with the count and results announced on Sunday.
The south-east region, which includes the New Forest, will send back 10 MEPs. There are 85 candidates made up of nine party lists and three Independents. The full list is available here.
The south-west area, which includes Christchurch, will return six MEPs. There are 41 candidates made up of eight party lists plus Independents. The full list is here.