British election overturned for race-baiting 'false statements'...
By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2010, 1:15pm PT  

How terribly quaint. Via Taegan Goddard's Political Wire today...

British Election Overturned Because of "False Statements"

The Independent reports that former British immigration minister Phil Woolas "lost his seat as an MP today after an election court ruled that he knowingly made false statements about an opponent in May's general election."

Bloomberg notes Woolas was guilty of "an illegal practice" by making statements "he had no reasonable grounds for believing were true and did not believe were true."

The Independent reports that Woolas, a Labour MP, "is to be barred from the Commons for three years and the election contest for his Oldham East and Saddleworth seat [will be] re-run." His crime:

The specially-convened election court had heard that Mr Woolas stirred up racial tensions in a desperate bid to retain his seat in Oldham East and Saddleworth.

His campaign team was said to have set out to "make the white folk angry" by depicting an alleged campaign by Muslims to "take Phil out".

Thank God we, the people of the United States of America, live in a land where there is no such need for laws to protect the electorate from the sort of dirty, disingenuously-divisive, knowingly-false, racially-based fear-mongering that might otherwise plague our totally free and respectable democratic elections!

[Hat-tip @emptywheel on the Twitters.]