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01 August 2022

Bindmans successfully represents Wycombe Independent councillors in High Court

3 mins

Bindmans successfully represents Wycombe Independent councillors in High Court

Bindmans LLP has successfully represented Wycombe Independents’ councillors Julia Wassell, Imran Hussain and Steve Guy, who are elected councillors in the Totteridge and Bowerdean Ward in Buckinghamshire. A challenge had been brought to Court against their election in the May 2021 local elections through an ‘election petition’, which sought to have the election overturned. The Wycombe Independent councillors have, however, been successful in having the election petition struck out by the High Court, which confirmed that our clients were duly elected.

Alex Temple, solicitor at Bindmans who represented the councillors, said:

We are delighted to have been able to bring this matter to a successful and justified end. The Court decided, after a long and difficult year for our clients, that there was no reason the petition should proceed to trial, and instead dismissed it on 6 May 2022. The Court declared that our clients had been lawfully elected in the Local Elections held on 5 May 2021. This comes after each of our clients’ total vote tallies increased at a court-ordered recount, held in September 2021. The Petitioner has now been ordered to pay the legal costs of each of our clients, as well as of the Council.

The Wycombe Independents said:

This is an important decision. An election petition is a very serious process. It calls into question the validity of an election and forces elected officials to divert their time and energy to defending it. This does a disservice to our constituents and those voters who put their faith in us. We are therefore pleased to be drawing a line under this episode and moving on with the job for which we were elected.

However, it is important to be aware that an investigation by Thames Valley Police into what happened during the election is ongoing. This investigation was started after our party reported a series of suspicious events during the election period and on the night of the count. We have been assisting the Police with their enquiries since before the petition was filed in Court, and now look forward to the investigation concluding. We hope that this will establish the truth of what occurred during the election and on the night of the count.

The Wycombe Independents were represented by Jamie Potter and Alex Temple of Bindmans LLP, with the support of paralegal India Cooper. 

Read a copy of the Court’s order dismissing the petition here, and the Court’s report of the recount and scrutiny held in September 2021 here.

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