Election Fraud 2006
The Times Article brings together a number of allegations from across the country.
It seems quite clear that in Tower Hamlets there is a big postal vote stealing operation going on.
A lot of media attention was given to the investigation of 14 postal votes in Nechells Ward. These votes were sent to a house which belongs to the Family of the Lib Dem Candidate for the Ward. They include his vote, his wife's vote and those of his children. Somehow this warranted an issue of a press release indicating that his wife had been arrested such that he found out via the media rather than his wife - which sounds odd to me.
I accept the point that 3 of the 14 votes relate to votes which have been sent from different addresses. This, therefore, needs investigating. There are 23 other similar situations across the city which also require investigation.
Clearly it would be wrong to make any judgement in advance of the police investigation. We have investigated the three votes and we do not see evidence that warrants a charge. Furthermore, Natural Justice requires that the candidate is innocent until proven guilty. Notwithstanding that we have decided to suspend his vote in group meetings until the investigation comes to an end. Labour have been calling for us to disown him on the basis of the arrest.
This, I suppose, fits with Labour's approach to justice whereby an arrest proves guilt and the Home Secretary decides who he wants locked up.
On the other hand there is the approach of the Labour Party whose candidate for Bordesley was arrested in 2004 on the same basis, released, elected then disqualified and banned from campaigning by an Election Court.
Labour's view here is that the person concerned does not warrant any disciplinary action being taken against him ... because there is an appeal going to the European Court.
Frankly, even if he gets some change to the process as a result of the European Court the fact that up to 4,000 ballot papers were shown to have fraudulently applied Labour votes in the one ward indicates that something was very wrong.
In the mean time Labour are claiming to have a "no visit" rule. Well this afternoon we saw Labour activists and councillors visiting homes of people with postal votes.
That is not a criminal offence, but it simply shows that Labour do not do what they say. That does not surprise us.
Two particularly interesting bits from the times article are:Tower Hamlets council, where Labour holds a seven-strong majority, confirmed that almost every party fighting in the elections had registered complaints against other parties.
This shows the problems with a system that is as full of holes as a gruyere cheese.
andA Tory candidate standing for election to Oxford City Council is also the subject of a police inquiry. Charles Steel, an Oxford University student, was accused of forging the signatures of nominees, which are required to allow him to stand. Police were alerted by the council after receiving complaints from two supposed nominees who said that they had not signed his paper.
I have heard of this before for BNP candidates, but not for a Tory. Are there that few tories at Oxford these days?