YouTube Prankster Prompts Chaos in U.K. General Election

UKIP's Peter Gammon (right) and Rejoin E.U.'s Richard Hewison (left) with Independent Niko Omilana arriving at City Hall, London, for the declaration for the next Mayor of London on Saturday, May 8, 2021. Credit - Victoria Jones—Getty Images

YouTube star Niko Omilana's name has been registered in 11 different constituencies in the U.K. as an MP (Member of Parliament) candidate—in an apparent violation of the U.K. Electoral Commission’s rules. The famous prankster said in a video posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday that he is planning to “completely remove” the U.K.’s current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak from politics. “Rishi Sunak wants to send young people to war,” he said, referring to the Prime Minister’s idea to implement a national service program for youths in the U.K., which would include military service for some people. “So I have decided to declare war on the system.”

Omilana has over seven million subscribers on YouTube, and is known for engaging in dramatic and risky stunts online. In one of his most popular videos, he attempted to sneak into the KSI v. Logan Paul boxing re-match and enter the ring.

In 2021, he also ran for mayor London’s municipal elections, receiving nearly 50,000 votes as an independent candidate. A video he made about the experience titled “How I Won the London Mayor Election” is one of his most popular videos, with over 16 million views on YouTube.

The U.K. Electoral Commission says it is aware of the current situation, and that should any action be taken, it would be in the hands of the police.

"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,” the Electoral Commission said in an emailed statement to TIME.

They also added that under electoral law, officers must take the details provided in candidate nomination forms at “face value.” This means that so long as the nomination meets the requirements for nomination, the Electoral Commission will not investigate or research the information provided by the candidate.

If an individual is found to have given a false statement on a nomination form, that person could face a prison term of up to six months or a fine.

West Midlands Police has received information about the YouTube star's name appearing multiple times on ballot papers in the area and are "liaising with the relevant authorities," per an emailed statement shared with TIME.

Meanwhile, North Yorkshire Police relayed to TIME via email: “We have been made aware of a potential electoral matter which North Yorkshire Police is currently looking into.”

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