THE Green Party has been exonerated from any wrongdoing over a student voter proxy row by election regulators.

Green campaign group Students for Caroline had been criticised for encouraging students to sign proxy voter forms allowing them to vote even if they are not in the city on election day.

Last week the Electoral Commission had criticised the drive as “not acceptable campaigning behaviour” but has now withdrawn that censure and cleared the party of any wrongdoing.

The Green campaign team said they were a victim of Labour’s “hugely negative campaign” after three of their prospective councillors raised a complaint about their rivals’ conduct.

The Electoral Commission intervention follows a complaint by Labour council candidates Tracey Hill, Caro- line Penn and Michael Inkpin-Leissner about the actions of Green Party supporters at the University of Sussex earlier this month.

Their complaint accused the Greens of handing out forms already filled out with the names of Green Party supporters willing to be proxies.

The Students for Caroline group denied this and the Electoral Commission has now confirmed the party is adhering to the electoral code.

Ms Hill said proxy voting should only be used as a “last resort” in her complaint to electoral services.

She said: “Students are being asked to give their votes to someone they don’t know and have never met. That doesn’t sound right.

“What if the student changes their mind later? They wouldn’t be able to contact their proxy to let them know.”

Adam McGibbon, Green Party target constituencies campaign manager, said the party had been “adhering completely” to the code of practice and has been vindicated by the Electoral Commission.

He said: “Their [The Electoral Commission] initial statement was based upon Labour’s allegation that we were handing out pre-filled in proxy forms. This is not the case.

“We have clarified the situation today with Tom Hawthorn, head of policy at the Electoral Commission, who, now he is appraised of the facts, is completely satisfied that we are acting within the code of conduct for campaigners.

“It’s a shame that Labour are running a hugely negative campaign in Brighton Pavilion, and part of this includes issuing malicious complaints around Green campaigning activities.”