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Police probe voting fraud’ claim in Bethnal Green & Bow

PUBLISHED: 21:22 28 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:56 05 October 2010

DETECTIVES have interviewed an election agent who lodged complaints of bogus voters being registered by rival political parties in London’s closely-fought Bethnal Green & Bow constituency in the run-up to next Thursday’s polling. Respect’s election agent reported the allegations to Scotland Yard’s Special Branch

By Mike Brooke

DETECTIVES have interviewed an election agent who lodged complaints of bogus voters being registered by rival political parties in London's closely-fought Bethnal Green & Bow constituency in the run-up to next Thursday's polling.

The election agent for George Galloway's Respect Party, Rob Hoveman, reported the allegations to police and made a statement yesterday (Tuesday) to Scotland Yard's SO15 Special Branch. Officers turned up at Bow Road police offices where he raised the issue of bogus voters at 'mail drop' addresses.

"They told me they are referring the matter of false registration to the Electoral Commission," Hoveman told the East London Advertiser.

"I gave them two addresses we know have been used for bogus registrations. But since then, we've come across four more used to register voters who don't live there."

Police were told of one address along Bethnal Green Road where eight Bengalis were said to be living, where party canvassers discovered two white men live. A second address in Campbell Road in Bow had 18 Bengali adults registered.

The party's Parliamentary hopeful for the neighbouring Poplar & Limehouse constituency, George Galloway, sent letters today (Wednesday) to the Met Police Commander in Tower Hamlets, Paul Rickett, and to the local authority's chief executive to report "widespread electoral malpractice with prima facie evidence that voters have been falsely registered."

His letter speaks of "the address in Campbell Road with no less than 18 voters registered but where, even with Tower Hamlets levels of overcrowding, this number seems excessive."

Galloway said on Tuesday: "We have seen widespread voting fraud on an industrial scale, what appears to be significant false voter and postal vote registrations."

The 'bogus voter' allegations follow claims last week that postal ballot papers were being tampered with by some candidates.

Scotland Yard confirmed tonight (Wed) that it had received allegations of voting fraud in East London.

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