Advertiser letters: Legal fees election 2015 and be safe online over summer

Lutfur Rahman was banned drom office. Picture: JOE LORD

Lutfur Rahman was banned drom office. Picture: JOE LORD - Credit: Archant

Letters, contributions and comments sent in to the Advertiser this week.

Legal fees letter welcome

Andy Erlam, lead petitioner, Tower Hamlets Election Petition 2015, writes:

John Biggs’ letter to the prime minister asking for the government to cover the £1.1m legal fees of the election petition (banning Lutfur Rahman from office) is welcome.

The government statement last week claiming that it was not involved in the Tower Hamlets case carried significant mistakes and was also issued without ministerial approval.

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The government was a party to the case on appeal in that the director of Public Prosecutions, the Attorney General and the Met Police all supported the petitioners as parties in the case, successfully opposing Rahman’s appeal.

True, the government did not take the original petition, because the law does not allow for that.

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Only voters can challenge an election.

Senior officers at Scotland Yard will give us an update on the criminal investigation on September 7 and we will visit the new Independent Office for Police Conduct to lodge new information the same day.

Voting fraud is a crime. It is surprising that, after two police criminal investigations and 26 files of evidence, no-one has been charged.

Stay safe online

Lynn Gradwell, director, Barnardo’s London region, writes:

As we start the summer holidays, I would like to make your readers aware of the risks that our children face as they potentially spend more time online - and offer some tips on how to keep them safe.

Sadly, we know that many children are seeing inappropriate content online. It is a deeply disturbing fact that children can stumble across pornography, and the ease with which children can live-stream themselves online is something that all parents should be aware of. Children with phones and tablets are effectively taking a TV crew into their bedroom and being able to broadcast to people they don’t know.

We know that this can leave them open to grooming and abuse and can have an effect on their emotional health and wellbeing. We are particularly worried about grooming and children having contact with strangers online, sometimes being coerced or manipulated into sharing images.

In a bid to tackle on-line abuse and the devastating impact it can have, we would urge parents to try and understand the online world that their child is using. Learn about the games and apps they are using and make sure that parental controls, privacy setting and online filters are being used. Internet Matters has some great parental guides on everything from live-streaming to the sites, apps and games that your children might want to use.

If your child seems worried about something, talk to them. It’s vital that parents keep talking to their children about their online games and take a look together at what they are doing and who they are talking to.

Start a conversation and find out who they’re talking to online and what they’re talking about. You can report inappropriate behaviour or material to an organisation like CEOP ( Child Exploitation and Online Protection) and we would urge anyone looking for advice or support to go to

It’s worth remembering that the internet can also be a fantastic place for children to develop, to grow and achieve safely. It’s a place where they can reach out for support if they’re struggling with a particular issue – so there is a good side to the online world.

Wishing you a safe and happy summer.

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