Mayor Rahman’s career in balance with High Court ruling on Tower Hamlets election trial
PUBLISHED: 06:00 23 April 2015 | UPDATED: 15:50 23 April 2015
The High Court makes its long-awaited judgement this-morning (Thurs) on the Tower Hamlets ‘election trial’ of mayor Lutfur Rahman.
Barrister Richard Mawrey, an election commissioner, QC and deputy High Court judge, has been hearing evidence from four petitioners lead by anti-corruption campaigner Andy Erlam claiming mal-practice and forgery in postal ballots and intimidation at polling stations by Rahman supporters during last May’s election for mayor.
Evidence was also given by a leading handwriting expert who examined many suspect postal ballot papers.
The judgment is being given at the Royal Court of Justice in The Strand at 10.30am, following the six-week trial which ended last month. Leading East End politicians are due to make statements immediately afterwards.
He could face being barred from public office if the judgement has gone against him.
Allegations of “vote rigging” have marred elections in the East End as far back as 2006 with evidence uncovered of false addresses and bogus names finding their way onto the voting register.
Barrister Mr Mawney, in his role as a judge in election cases, has repeatedly criticised the UK’s postal voting system.
Mayor Rahman’s political career hangs in the balance with today’s verdict. His Tower Hamlets First administration has also been dogged with controversy over handing out council grants, with Communities Secretary Eric Pickles sending in two commissioners in December to oversee Town Hall spending.
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