East End’s electoral fraud allegations do not lead to a single conviction

POLICE investigations into nearly 100 allegations of electoral fraud in the East End have not led to a single conviction.

None of the country’s 232 cases of alleged electoral malpractice reported to the police affected the outcome of the election, the Electoral Commission’s report into last May’s general election shows.

Tower Hamlets saw the most claims of electoral fraud in the country, the report said, and police investigated 98 properties where none or more people were registered to vote.

In one four-bedroom home, 18 men had apparently registered.

The report said: “Ninety-eight addresses, where nine or more people were registered to vote, were suspected of fraudulent behaviour. “These addresses were visited by the police and over 250 people were interviewed.

“The investigation lasted four months with assistance from the authority and the case was resolved as no further action.”

But election agent for Respect candidates George Galloway and Abjol Miah, Rob Hoveman, said the Electoral Commission displayed “complacency to the subversion of the electoral system through fraud and malpractice”.

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He said: “The fact is that it remains very easy for votes to be cast through personation, for false voters to be registered and, above all, for undue, inappropriate and illegal pressure to be applied in the casting of postal votes through the postal vote on demand system.

“We all know fraud was widespread here in Tower Hamlets.

“Where the police have been minded to investigate, they have been thwarted because the crimes involved are almost undetectable and certainly almost unprovable.”

Electoral Commission chairman Jenny Watson said: “There was some high profile reporting of alleged electoral malpractice around the elections and perceptions of fraud continue to be a concern to voters.

“Yet these figures do not support the more pessimistic perceptions: there’s no evidence of widespread attempts to commit electoral fraud, or of election results being called into question.

“It is important the public have accurate information on electoral malpractice and I would like to thank police forces across the UK for proving the data to make this analysis possible.”