Erlam hands in Tower Hamlets election fraud documents to Met Police Commissioner
- Credit: Archant
Anti-Corruption campaigner Andy Erlam is handing in files to Scotland Yard today with yet more allegations of election fraud in the Tower Hamlets elections.
It comes 24 hours after the Met Police revealed they were investigating 16 fresh claims of malpractice in Thursday’s re-run election for mayor.
The 54-year-old writer and film-producer, who is running in Thursday’s election for mayor, is handing over a tranche of papers at 2pm to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.
It follows Erlam’s meeting with top officers last week in the special unit set up by the Met to investigate allegations of malpractice in 2014, which has obtained an extension order making sure none of last year’s ballot papers are destroyed after the statutory 12 month period.
Erlham is going straight to the Commissioner himself after a frustrating lack of confidence in police investigations so far.
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“We have been disappointed with a previous lack of interest from the police who didn’t investigate election fraud properly in the first place,” he told the East London Advertiser today. “It seemed they were just going through the motions.
“Even now the police are dragging their feet. No serious financial fraud enquiry has even now started at the Town Hall, despite a fraud file being giving to police last year.”
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Now Scotland Yard has confirmed it is looking into another 16 allegations concerning Thursday’s polls about election practice by some candidates. This follows last week’s deadline for postal votes which were being sorted under scrutiny at the Town Hall, but is now not thought to be connected.
“I do not believe, regrettably, that there is any serious police intent to investigate financial fraud or election fraud,” Erlam added. “We need the FBI to do a FIFA.”
Allegations involve election fraud made against councillors who were referred to, but not named, in his election petition to the High Court which overturned last year’s vote for mayor now being re-run on Thursday.
Campaigners last month lodged a Letter of Protocol to the Election Commission calling for the dismissal of the 17 independent councillors who were part of Lutfur Rahman’s now-banned Tower Hamlets First caucus.
Today’s allegations by Erlam being handed in to the Met Commissioner involves election practices of those councillors, as well as claims of “malpractice” in Tower Hamlets council, it is understood.
But the council has yet to receive notice of what the allegations are about in detail.
A Town Hall spokesman told the Advertiser: “We haven’t had sight of Mr Erlam’s allegations—but take any suggestion of fraud or improper activity very seriously.
“The recent Election Petition judgement praised our Returning Officer and his work and our local protocol makes it clear the police and the council will investigate all allegations of irregularities robustly, promptly and fully.”
The allegations by Erlam include “concealment of information evidence from the PriceWaterhouse Coopers enquiry” into Town Hall grants, interventions in commercial land deals going back years, misuse of public resources and unsatisfactory police investigations into an arson attack on property owned by one of the election petitioners who took Rahman to the High Court.
FULL LIST OF CANDIDATES in Thursday’s election for Tower Hamlets Mayor:
= John Biggs – Labour, re-elected London Assembly’s budget chairman, represents east London at City Hall, former leader of Tower Hamlets Council.
= Rabina Khan – Independent, ex-Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s former ‘Tower Hamlets First’ administration, cabinet member for housing, represents Shadwell, defected from Labour to join Rahman.
= Peter Golds – Conservative, Tory Group opposition leader on Tower Hamlets Council, represents Island Gardens on the Isle of Dogs.
= Andy Erlam – Red Flag Anti-Corruption, took Lutfur Rahman to the High Court for election malpractice.
= Nicholas McQueen – Ukip, came third in General Election for Poplar & Limehouse.
= John Foster – Green, journalist, former Parliamentary candidate for Bethnal Green Bow in 2010.
= Elaine Bagshaw – Liberal Democrat, a regulator with the Financial Conduct Authority in Canary Wharf.
= Vanessa Hudson – Animal Welfare.
= Hafiz Abdul Kadir – Independent.
= Motiur Rahman Nanu – Independent.