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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007, 14:16 GMT 15:16 UK
Apology for 'idiots' election ban
A council has apologised for banning "lunatics, idiots, deaf and dumb" people from standing for election.

An election pack issued by Bournemouth Borough Council stated that "lunatics and idiots" and "deaf and dumb persons" were disqualified from standing.

Matt Pitcher, electoral services officer, said it was a mistake and that the terms were taken directly from election law dating back to 1766.

"Of course such language is certainly not acceptable today," he added.

"The terminology used as part of our election pack to candidates was unfortunately taken directly from a piece of election law which dates from 1766 but is still current today.

"Bournemouth council treats all people fairly whatever their sexual orientation, age, religious belief, disability, gender or race and the council apologises unreservedly for any offence which may have been caused.

"The information pack has been amended."

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