SCIUTTO: The now-former M.P. spoke to ABC News exclusively.
(on-screen): It's an enormous price to pay. You won an election, and you've had that seat taken away from you.
WOOLAS: The case hinged around in the end three lines in a leaflet. I took responsibility for that leaflet, but my election team actually wrote it, because he's not a criminal. This is an election matter. It's about who said what to who when. To my mind, it's the stuff of politics.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): The stuff of dirty politics, two British judges ruled, dirty enough to nullify an election for the first time here in 99 years. Not surprisingly, Woolas' opponent, the target of those fliers and loser of the election, welcomed the ruling.
WATKINS: If you lie to the electorate, you have no place in politics.
SCIUTTO: The decision has sparked a firestorm, his own party abandoning him, but others warning of a chilling effect on free speech.
(on-screen): Like in the U.S., there are many here who aren't sorry to see a politician pay a price for lying, but critics of the decision say there is already a way to punish them, the parliamentary elections themselves. Let the voters, not a judge, decide.
(voice-over): The judges in Woolas' case may have changed the very way elections are run here, perhaps, some say, with a wary look across the Atlantic.
(on-screen): Is there any sense that British people, British voters in general, look to America and say, "We just don't want to go that far. We see how bad it can get"?
FREEDLAND: There's definitely a recoil, a cringe almost in British politics about being told they're going down the American politics route.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): Pending Woolas' appeal, British politicians will now face a rule almost unheard of in American politics: think before they sling.
For "This Week," Jim Sciutto, ABC News, London.
AMANPOUR: And finally this morning, from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, a rare image of freedom. Pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest yesterday, where she's been held for 15 of the past 21 years. Despite their best efforts, the military junta has never succeeded in crushing her supporters' hope for freedom.
That's our program for today. Thank you for watching, and we hope to see you next week.