Row as Scouts do their best… to help Tories win: Troop leaders accused of breaching apolitical status by sending boys to deliver election leaflets
- Accused of sending Scouts to help local candidates Paul Rickett, Daniel McNally
- Children were recruited from Lincolnshire First Marshchapel Scout Group
- Offered money to rent an allotment to grow vegetables for a village soup kitchen
Scouts swear an oath to help others and do their best – but one of their good deeds has caused a storm because it involved delivering election leaflets.
Troop leaders are accused of breaching their apolitical status by sending Scouts to help out two Tory local candidates.
The children were recruited from Lincolnshire First Marshchapel Scout Group and were delivering leaflets for Paul Rickett and Daniel McNally.
The leaflets for Tory local candidates Daniel McNally and Paul Rickett were delivered by Scouts from Lincolnshire First Marshchapel Scout Group
In return they were offered money to rent an allotment to grow vegetables for a village soup kitchen.
One resident said: ‘I saw a boy delivering election leaflets. He wasn’t in uniform but he looked very young to be going around people’s doors. It is shocking if the Scouts were used like this.’
The leader of the Scout group, Matt Whall, and several other volunteers have since stepped down from their positions. Mr Whall said: ‘I did not ask the Scouts to distribute leaflets for political gain or promotion but did something purely with the motive to provide an enriching opportunity. It was an error on my part.’
Tories: Daniel McNally (left) said he was delivering leaflets in the North and South Somercotes and Saltfleetby area by himself with friends and that Paul Rickett (right) was responsible for the delivery around Marshchapel. Mr Rickett was not available for comment
A spokesman for the Scout Movement said a complaint had been made and was investigated by the local volunteer manager and reported to the Charity Commission.
He added: ‘Subsequently the Group Scout Leader of the 1st Marshchapel Scout Group submitted his resignation after taking full responsibility for the incident.
‘Other volunteers have also since resigned. No volunteers have been asked to leave the Scout movement because of this incident.’
Robert Palmer, the outgoing Conservative councillor for Marshchapel and Somercotes, said: ‘Being an ex-boy Scout, this is quite shocking. During my 20 years as a councillor there were times when my wife and our four children helped me deliver leaflets. But this is different.’
Mr McNally said: ‘I am a twin candidate with Paul Rickett. I have been delivering leaflets in the North and South Somercotes and Saltfleetby area myself with a couple of friends.’
He said Mr Rickett, who was not available for comment, was responsible for organising delivery around Marshchapel.
This controversy comes after more than 100 current and prospective Tory councillors wrote to Theresa May to say they could not find enough volunteers to campaign in the local elections.