Police aware as 11 ‘Niko Omilanas’ stand for election in 11 constituencies

The YouTube prankster appears to be running in Dundee Central as well as Rishi Sunak's constituency.

Police aware as 11 ‘Niko Omilanas’ stand for election in 11 constituencies in Scotland and England PA Media

Police said they have been “made aware of a potential electoral matter” after several General Election candidates were registered under the name of a YouTube prankster.

Independent contenders under the name Niko Omilana are registered in 11 constituencies across England and Scotland, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s constituency of Richmond and Northallerton.

In a video posted across his various social media channels, Omilana said he had “decided to run for Prime Minister” and would “remove” Rishi Sunak from the political world.

As well as Richmond and Northallerton, there is a Niko Omilana standing in Leeds East, Leeds South, Coventry South, Greenwich and Woolwich, North West Essex, Bermondsey and Old Southwark, Birmingham Perry Barr, Dundee Central, Stockton West and Ealing Southall.

A full list of candidates standing at the July 4 general election can be found here.

Omilana has more than seven million subscribers on YouTube and millions more followers across other platforms.

He is known for his prank-style videos, for example sneaking into the KSI v Logan Paul boxing rematch and attempting to get in the ring.

He also makes “fake employee” pranks where he pretends to work at various businesses including McDonald’s, Apple, Subway, Asda, Ikea and Tesco, and has done a range of brand deals for the likes of Wagamama and Cadbury.

In 2021, Omilana got nearly 50,000 votes in the London Mayoral election, coming fifth and being the top independent candidate. He tried to stand in the same election this year but was barred because his nomination papers were found to be invalid.

Each of the 11 Niko Omilanas is registered under a different address and their nomination papers were signed by different people.

The Electoral Commission, which oversees elections in the UK, said: “We are aware that the same person has been nominated as a candidate in a number of constituencies at the general election.

“Candidates must confirm in their nomination papers that they are not standing in any other constituency.

“It is an offence for an individual to provide false information on nomination papers when applying to stand as a candidate, including to falsely confirm that they are not standing in another constituency.

“If that has occurred, it would be a matter for the police to consider.”

Under electoral law, Returning Officers must take the details provided in candidate nomination forms at face value, and accept the nomination if it meets the requirements. They do not have the power to investigate or research the information provided by the candidate.

The Electoral Commission said candidates do not need to show ID when submitting their nomination papers.

It added: “Candidates must submit their name as part of the nomination. It is possible for candidates to use commonly used names but if someone chooses to provide a commonly used name they must ensure that it is a forename or surname which they commonly use.

“As set out in section 65A of the Representation of People Act 1983, it is an offence to give a false statement on a nomination form. The penalty could be a fine or a prison term of no more than six months.”

Police said they have been ‘made aware of a potential electoral matter’ in relation to YouTuber Niko Omilana.PA Media

In his videos, Omilana said: “I’ve decided to run for Prime Minister and I’m going up against our current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the area of Richmond and plan to completely remove him from the political world.

“Rishi Soknacks [sic] wants to send young people to war, so I’ve decided to declare war on the system.

“We will remove Rishi and on top of this, we have done the impossible. We attempted to run Niko Omilana in multiple places across the country, and somehow we managed to make it happen.

“My aim is for Niko Omilana to get more votes than anyone else and declare myself Prime Minister.”

In the UK, the Prime Minister is typically the leader of the largest party in parliament and is not decided by popular vote. The votes for each Omilana will be counted as if they are separate candidates

North Yorkshire Police said “we have been made aware of a potential electoral matter”, which is being looked into.

West Midlands Police said they had “received the information and are liaising with the relevant authorities”.

People will vote on July 4.PA Media

A spokesperson from Coventry City Council said: “The penalty for a false statement is either an unlimited fine in England and Wales, £10,000 in Scotland and/or up to one year’s imprisonment.

“If a candidate who has knowingly made a false statement on their nomination paper is subsequently elected, the election result could be invalidated via a court process.”

A Leeds City Council spokesperson said: “Our role in an election is to ensure it is conducted properly, fairly and legally and we are obliged to accept nominations that fulfil the legal requirements.

“We are aware of Omilana’s career on YouTube, but although we have received two nominations with the same name in different constituencies they have come from two different people who say they are using names that they are legally entitled to use.

“We have no powers or ability to investigate such issues, and have to accept information on nominations at face value, with very rare exceptions.

“We understand similar nominations have been received by several different local authorities.”

Attempts have been made to contact Omilana.

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