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Election row

Returning officers overseeing elections for the further education super-body board have been asked to investigate a letter encouraging agricultural colleges to back one of two lists of candidates.

In another example of controversy which has dogged the Colleges' Employers' Forum and Association for Colleges merger, claims are being made that the letter, urging colleges to back the CEF slate, may have been misleading.

Eversheds, the legal firm, was asked to see if the letter, sent by Vic Croxson, principal of Reaseheath College, to fellow agricultural colleges, could have prompted colleges to vote on a false prospectus.

It suggested that the CEF was committed to creating a seat on the board of the merged body for agricultural colleges. Organisers of the CEF slate are understood to insist they gave no such assurance.

An AFC-supporting principal raised concerns that candidates are not permitted to make promises about the actions of a new board.

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