Man arrested in Isle of Dogs had 'car boot full' of postal vote applications
PUBLISHED: 15:58 24 June 2014 | UPDATED: 15:58 24 June 2014
A man arrested on suspicion of vote fraud was found to have a “car boot full of postal vote applications”, Tower Hamlets police have confirmed.
A spokeswoman said the 24-year-old arrested on June 3 near Westferry Circus on the Isle of Dogs in relation to the local elections, had a “substantial number” of completed postal ballot forms in his car, when stopped as part of a routine search.
Police have been tight-lipped about the arrest up till now, with one councillor saying he had been asked not to discuss it.
But the local branch of the Met confirmed the circumstances of the arrest to the Advertiser as told to the Telegraph newspaper by a Scotland Yard spokesman.
Eight police investigations are currently underway over the local elections in Tower Hamlets after police received 84 complaints of electoral malpractice in the borough.
Police have said these include “a number [relating to] alleged behaviour of campaigners at polling stations”, but that there was no evidence that crimes had taken place “in the majority of cases”.
The 24-year-old arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud in relation to postal votes, was taken into custody and later bailed until July pending further inquiries.
Jim Fitzpatrick MP has called for the Electoral Commission to broaden its review of the May 22 election, which saw the vote count drag on for five days, to include allegations of voter intimidation at polling stations.
Tower Hamlets Council has defended its running of the local election, citing its tough new election protocol, and welcomed the “thoroughness” of the police investigations.