Tower Hamlets mayor Rahman pledge to co-operate with any vote fraud inquiry

Mayor Lutfur Rahman has pledged to cooperate with any investigators in the call by a government minister for an inquiry into allegations of voting fraud at Tower Hamlets in London’s East End when he was elected in 2010.

The row exploded again last week when local government minister Grant Shapps said investigators need to get to the bottom of accusations that Tower Hamlets Electoral Roll had been rigged.

His move came after fresh allegations surfaced that addresses are being used fraudulently to register bogus voters in time for the London mayor election in nine weeks’ time, with Rahman’s name being linked to Ken Livingstone’s campaign.

Other calls for an inquiry were made by Tower Hamlets Tory Opposition leader Peter Golds and Labour group leader Joshua Peck as well as MPs Rushanara Ali, Jim Fitzpatrick and London Assembly member John Biggs.

Mayor Rahman told the Advertiser exclusively this week: “I will fully participate with any investigating authority.

“If there are allegations of fraud or impropriety, I want them to be investigated and be dealt with.”

He dismissed speculation that his election as mayor in 2010 involved any illegal activity.

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“My camp was very clean,” he continued. “No allegation was ever put to me—or substantiated against me. I will go into the next election for mayor with that spirit.”

The Advertiser’s own research found a rush to register new voters in the run-up to the 2010 General and local elections held the same day.

Another 6,000 voters had been added to the 158,549 on the register in just six months between September 2009 and the following April—a month before the polls. By polling day itself, another 7,000 names had been added, now totalling 171,870.

The Town Hall insisted it had rigorously checked out suspicious registrations and where necessary took people off the voting register. All allegations were referred to the police.

Electoral rigging allegations have involved investigations in the past by police, Crown Prosecution Service, Tower Hamlets Council and the Electoral Commission.