Guides are warned in leaflet row

Councillor Barry Fagan
Councillor Barry Fagan

GUIDES were today warned to steer clear of politics during the council elections.

Leaders of packs across the region have been told that they must maintain the organisation’s long standing independence of any party or persuasion.

It was triggered by a row in Wigan after Second Hindley Girl Guides were given a £100 donation by Independent Bob Brierley after offering to deliver 2,000 election addresses for him around the streets of Hindley Green.

Rival political candidate Barry Fagan (Community Action Party) made an official complaint to the organisation claiming the action breached it’s constitution as a charitable organisation.

Girlguiding UK said today that the Association is “independents of any political organisation or party”.

And membership “must not be used in any way” to promote the advancement of individual members’ party political interests or advance an individual’s campaigning interests.

Membership support services spokesman Charlie Reeve said that their County Commissioner had taken “immediate action” after being alerted to the situation by Mr Fagan.

She also offered the service’s apologies to Mr Fagan for the actions and the “inconvenience” they had caused him.

Ms Reeve said: “The Leaders in question have confirmed that they will stop delivering election leaflets immediately.

“To highlight our policy the County Commissioners is communicating with all Leaders to draw their attention and to remind them of this.”