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Green Party calls for resignations over ‘incompetent’ Tower Hamlets election

PUBLISHED: 13:30 07 June 2014

Chris Smith, Green Party mayoral candidate and Tower Hamlets resident

Chris Smith, Green Party mayoral candidate and Tower Hamlets resident

Copyright 2013

The Green Party is calling for resignations at Tower Hamlets Council over “incompetence” during the local election count, which lasted five days and has led to eight police investigations.

Police outnumbered by crowds outside Stepney's Troxy where the count for Mayor was held. Photo: David MirzoeffPolice outnumbered by crowds outside Stepney's Troxy where the count for Mayor was held. Photo: David Mirzoeff

Chris Smith, a long-time resident of Brick Lane, who ran as mayoral candidate for the Greens, said there should be a clean-out at the council as those currently in charge are “not capable of running an election count”.

His intervention comes after police confirmed that eight investigations are underway over the chaotic election, with a 24-year-old man arrested on suspicion of postal vote fraud on Tuesday.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Mr Smith said: “This has been four years of poorly run council elections. It’s total incompetence.

“The MEP election count [in Tower Hamlets] held up the entire country. It was on the BBC news - they were talking about Tower Hamlets. We’re a laughing stock.

“During the Mayoral count we were locked in with no food for about an hour. It was like being in some sort of third world election count.”

He added: “There should be resignations from among the people running it. They need a change of management, because they’re not capable of running an election count.”

Tower Hamlets Council declined to comment on the call for resignations, but defended its running of the elections, blaming high turnout and close recounts for the delays.

A spokesman said: “The count took longer than expected, but the main objective was to ensure the result was seen as fair and accurate by all the parties concerned and the residents and stakeholders of Tower Hamlets.”

The Electoral Commission has launched a review of the election to find out why it took so long, but Jim Fitzpatrick MP has called for a wider inquiry that includes alleged voter intimidation at polling stations.

Read more here:

Man arrested for postal vote fraud as police probe Tower Hamlets election

Mayor Rahman dismisses ‘intimidation’ claims in Tower Hamlets election

MP blasts ‘shambles’ Tower Hamlets election and calls for wider inquiry

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