YT understands that Essex Police has been called into to investigate a possible criminal offence in relation to the Stifford Clays by-election.
The investigation may well be centred on an allegation that during campaigning in October, Labour distributed cakes to residents of the ward of Stifford Clays.
The law states that: “A person is guilty of treating if either before, during or after an election they directly or indirectly give or provide any food, drink, entertainment or provision to corruptly influence any voter to vote or refrain from voting. Treating requires a corrupt intent – it does not apply to ordinary hospitality.”
The by-election was won by Labour’s Sue Shinnick.
An Essex Police spokesperson said: “Essex Police is investigating an allegation of treating in Thurrock.”