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Election 2010: Late surge for election registration sparks renewed fraud fear

PUBLISHED: 14:11 06 May 2010 | UPDATED: 15:58 05 October 2010

WITH just days to go before voters go to the poll police have been inundated with allegations of election fraud in Tower Hamlets. Detectives are looking into four claims of election fraud in Tower Hamlets. Both the leader of the Conservatives Peter Golds

WITH just days to go before voters go to the poll police have been inundated with allegations of election fraud in Tower Hamlets.

Detectives are looking into four claims of election fraud in Tower Hamlets.

Both the leader of the Conservatives Peter Golds and the Respect party have made formal complaints to the police and allege that candidates in the council elections are mixed up in the alleged fraud.

They allege that names have been added to the electoral roll in the last few months with 18 on one address alone.

In a letter to police George Galloway said: "We now have a situation where some candidates have been adding names to the register at their own addresses and at the addresses of friends and family which defy plausibility. This has taken place on such a scale that, together with the widespread vote tampering, the integrity of elections here has been compromised."

Mr Golds said: "It is outrageous and utterly despicable."

He has sent a list of eight addresses to the police which include 61 names added to the electoral roll recently.

The Advertiser investigated allegations into 18 voters registered to a four bedroomed flat in Cambridge Heath Road in Bethnal Green.

In March no one was registered to vote at that address and it did not appear on the March edition of the electoral roll.

But in the latest edition of the electoral roll 18 people are registered to vote there.

When the Advertiser visited residents at the flat they said they did not know all the names on the list and claimed just 10 people lived in the house, not the 18 on the electoral roll.

The group, who were students from Bangladesh said they did not recognise seven names on the list. One of the residents on the electoral roll student Mohammad Asifur Rahman said: "We do not know who these guys are."

The men said a further resident at the flat does not feature on the electoral roll.

In a letter to officials including Tower Hamlets borough commander Chief Supt Paul Rickett, the council's returning officer Kevan Collins, deputy returning officer Isabella Freeman George Galloway said: "It is apparent there was a last minute surge of fraudsters amongst the more legitimate late applications. It beggars belief that suddenly eight, 10, 12 and even 18 adults should suddenly appear on the register just as it is about to close for the election.

He claims one election candidate has links to eight addresses in Tower Hamlets, with 77 people on the electoral roll.

Ms Freeman said the council has carried out a search on properties where more than eight residents were registered to vote and has removed 141 people from the list.

She added in the last days before the register closed on April 20 there had been a last minute surge of 5,166 more registrations.

Any allegations of election fraud in Tower Hamlets are being looked at by a Met Police specialist unit.

A spokeswoman from the Electoral Commission said the election could not be pulled whilst allegations are investigated but candidates can challenge the results up to 21 days after the election.

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