A group of disputed membership forms will be processed by the provincial New Democrats, a decision leadership candidate Harry Lali has called, "unbelievable." In an interview minutes before that decision was announced, Mr. Lali said, "It's just unbelievable this ruling and the bogus justification for it. I'm absolutely speechless." Public Eye broke the news about those disputed forms, reporting Mr. Lali and leadership candidate Mike Farnworth had filed complaints about them on Monday evening. The complaints alleged those forms didn't have the membership payment attached as required.
Mr. Lali further alleged today that competing leadership candidate Adrian Dix's supporters were responsible for submitting the disputed forms. He said he knew they were Mr. Dix's supporters by "recognizing the people and talking to them."
"There were people coming in with memberships, stacks of them, thousands of memberships, and other people coming in with the money in bags, envelopes in little handbags," Mr. Lali told reporters.
But Mr. Dix's campaign manager Gerry Scott said only "some" of the disputed forms were submitted by the Vancouver-Kingsway MLA's supporters and the complaints "may or may not involve" other campaigns. Indeed, Vancouver-Kensington MLA Mable Elmore - who hasn't yet chosen leadership sides - confirmed the forms she submitted were among those investigated by the party.
"I believe there's been an inquiry into their status," she said. "We don't feel there were any discrepancies" - a point Mr. Scott also made.
Leadership competitors Dana Larsen and Nicholas Simons, as well as a spokesperson for John Horgan's leadership campaign, have said their membership sign-ups aren't in question.
Asked what he was going to do now that the party has decided to process the disputed forms, Mr. Lali said, "I don't know. I'm just a little too upset right now that there's a different set of rules for different campaigns to follow."
Mr. Farnworth's campaign didn't have an immediate response to that decision.
The following is a complete copy of the media advisory announcing it.