Tory election agent guilty of tricking voters into nominating candidates

Tory election agent guilty of tricking voters into nominating candidates thumbnail

Diana Dianescu posed as someone from the Green or Labour parties, and Hackney council to dupe voters

Dianescu has been given a six-month suspended sentence and told to do 200 hours of community service.
Photograph: Hackney Conservatives

A Conservative party election agent has been convicted of tricking voters in a Labour stronghold borough into signing nomination forms for Tory candidates in a local election.

Diana Dianescu posed variously as a representative of the Green party or the Labour party, or as a council official, when knocking on doors in Hackney, east London, during the May 2018 local elections.

Her scam was rumbled after a Hackney resident, Sandra Stanton, saw her and her husband’s names listed on the council website as assentors for three Tory candidates, and complained to the council, which passed on her complaint to the police.

After a five-week trial involving 32 prosecution witnesses, Danescu, of South Woodford, east London, was on Friday found guilty of 16 offences of causing or permitting a false signature to be included on a nomination form under the Representation of the People Act 1983. She was handed a six-month suspended sentence and told to undertake 200 hours of community service.

An investigation found that Danescu had submitted a number of nomination forms to Hackney’s returning officer that contained the names and signatures of voters who had either been misled into believing it was a different candidate, or whose name had been matched to someone else’s signature.

At the time, Danescu, 28, had been working for Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) as a campaign manager, and she was also standing in the Redbridge council election as the Tory candidate for the Chadwell ward.

In order for candidates to register to be on the ballot for local elections, they must gather the signatures of 10 local voters to submit to the local returning officer. Danescu had acted as the election agent for 29 Tory candidates, making her legally responsible for the conduct of their political campaigns and allowing her to oversee polling and vote counting.

DC Jim Morrison, of the Metropolitan police’s special inquiry team, said: “Diana Danescu deliberately misled the electors of Hackney in the run-up to the local government elections in May 2018. In addition, she submitted names of electors who had not signed the nomination papers.

“The Metropolitan police is committed to maintaining the integrity of the democratic process. I would like to thank people living and working in Hackney who came forward and provided evidence at the trial.”