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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.

and

A 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?

Comments

PoliticalHack said…
To quote from Respect

John Rees, National Secretary of the party, said although the system had been set up by Labour, the Liberal Democrats appeared to be the main perpetrators.

He said: "The system is administered by Labour, the main culprits we have discovered so far are the Liberal Democrats."

Mr Rees said the party had gathered considerable anecdotal evidence which claimed that canvassers had gone round to individual houses and asked people to unwittingly sign forms which meant their postal vote would be redirected to a third-party address.
TonyF said…
Bringing the party into disrepute? Of course not, he was campaigning FOR the party! I stuck to a Lib Dem policy and made that clear publicly and I was sacked from the party for allegedly campaigning against it!
Maybe I should have pulled the same stunt!
TonyF said…
Ex PJP member with your favourite friend Shaukat Ali Khan as his election agent?

But then, they're dedicated Lib Dems now, aren't they?

I'd check the electoral commissions register if I were you.
john said…
Political Hack: I don't know what the situation is in Tower Hamlets.

I was told that it was not in our target wards. That should imply it is not us, but it could be.

ALthough the only Party who has been proven to be behind massive electoral fraud is the Labour Party every party has been involved including the Lib Dems.

In Birmingham we have been very clean on this and intend remaining so. However, I would not make the claim that we have been squeaky clean nationally.

It remains, however, that Labour are responsible for the rules.

Tony Foley: There are those who say that your efforts delivered Liam Byrne the Hodge Hill seat in the by-election. That is why you are no longer a member of the Lib Dems.
TonyF said…
My efforts? My efforts were to point out that some of the Lib Dems were not prone to hipocrisy.

Judging by the way the leadership of the party in Birmingham has failed to suspend a member under police investigation, hipocrisy still reigns supreme
john said…
The point was one of campaigning against the party. From time to time I have criticisms about what the party does, but I tend not to highlight them in the middle of an election campaign and in such a manner as undermines the party.

As far as Nechells is concerned we have suspended the candidate's vote in group meetings. That is the correct action in the circumstances.
TonyF said…
If he was a Councillor it would be the correct proceedure, he is not.
Why don't you and Tilsley own up! You won't suspend him because you're worried that 400 ex PJP members will go back to the party that hasn't been disbanded and you'll be left with egg on your faces!
The word for you to learn here is Kowtow
john said…
It is the correct procedure. We have taken action.
PoliticalHack said…
Getting into bed with the PJP will prove to be one of your biggest errors, John, I promise you that.

You've given a minority, rather dubious, party a foothold in one of the major political parties in this country and you will regret it.

Also take note that while Labour candidates were, rightly, convicted of electoral fraud, it is not confined to my party, nor is it officially endorsed. You seem happy to use it for political effect, but content to ignore problems in every other party, including the LDs.

The LDs were quite happy to dedicate resources to pursuing recalcitrant members over Hodge Hill - didn't Martin Mullaney ask for pictures of the accused to be used in evidence against them? They convened a kangaroo court to eject a cabinet member who didn't do what he was told over disbursing public funds (quite rightly), but dodge the issue over electoral fraud.

Labour as the government are responsible for the rules, but as has been explained to you in great detail, those proposals came from the Electoral Commission and had support from members of your own party.

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