She's quite boring, empty headed, no charisma and a bit of a dummy – perfect for politics, some would say. But council bosses don’t agree and have banned Helena Torry, a dressmaker’s mannequin, from running in May’s local elections.
Renee Slater, 64, who was known as Ron Slater until a sex change a decade ago, had tried to register the dummy as an independent for the Aberdeen City Council poll on May 3. She had wanted Helena to stand – or wobble slightly – in the Hazlehead, Ashley and Queen’s Cross ward. The area is home to Sir Ian Wood, who has pledged £50million towards revamping the historic city centre.
Renee, from Torry, in Aberdeen, used Helena to protest against the plans for Union Terrace Gardens. Renee said: “I didn’t want to stand myself, I wanted more humour out of it. It’s to have a wee poke at the councillors.” Renee said that if Helena had been elected, she would have taken her seat in the chambers. But she admitted she would have had to have been there too “to interpret what she’s thinking”.
But council chiefs saw red over the bid and called in the police to probe alleged electoral fraud. They have now confirmed that Helena had been scrubbed from the ballot paper. Returning officer Valerie Watts said the move was “necessary to ensure that the interests of the genuine candidates and voters are protected and that the election can take place”.