British parliamentarian alleges vote rigging in online cat contest

Feb. 10, 2014 at 5:59 PM
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LONDON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- A member of Britain's Parliament is alleging the fix was in for an animal shelter's online "Purr Minister" feline beauty pageant.

The Battersea Dogs and Cats Home held the online beauty contest for cats owned by members of Parliament and Andrew Gwynne, a member of the Labor Party, said he withdrew his cat, Jude, from the contest Friday to protest alleged vote rigging, the Mirror reported Monday.

Gwynne said Bosun, a cat owned by Conservative Member of Parliament Sheryll Murray, received 30,000 votes in just 7 hours of voting, more than 70 percent of the total votes cast.

"I think there has been vote rigging. It is not fair -- it is against the spirit of it," he said.

The official said he has an Information Technology worker friend who told him it was possible to use computer tricks to pad the votes.

Bob Davidson, Murray's office manager, said his boss was not behind the alleged vote rigging.

"Obviously there have been dirty tricks," Davidson said. "It could have been an opponent trying to frame her."

Davidson said Murray is planning to talk to the organizers of the poll.

Officials at the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home said they were planning precautions for future polls.

"We will look carefully at how people can vote next year," the home said.

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