Scotland Yard accused of failure in Tower Hamlets election fraud probe
PUBLISHED: 16:59 30 April 2013 | UPDATED: 16:59 30 April 2013
carmen valino all rights
A local council group leader’s complaint about election fraud in east London’s troubled Tower Hamlets has been sent to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner accusing Scotland Yard of failing to investigate properly.
Tower Hamlets Opposition Tory leader Peter Golds has written to Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe with a catalogue of alleged failings in the investigation into last year’s Spitalfields By-election.
Cllr Golds is now seeking assurances about next year’s council elections and is calling for guarantees that any future allegations of vote rigging will be taken seriously.
It follows revelations that the Spitalfields poll in April, 2012, was marred by ‘ghost’ voters with empty properties being used for postal ballots. The election was won by Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s former advisor Gulam Robani by just 43 votes.
“The police investigation was perfunctory,” Cllr Golds claimed yesterday. “They were given evidence of bogus names and wrong addresses—which they sent back to the Town Hall saying they did the checks and weren’t taking any action—nothing was done.
“The full council elections are next year and I want to make sure there’s no vote-rigging.
“I have asked for assurance any future police investigations are carried out properly.”
The Electoral Commission also looked into the vote rigging allegations and made recommendations to Scotland Yard last month.
Scotland Yard this week said it has accepted the Commission’s recommendations. It has now closed the investigation begun a year ago.
But a Met spokesman gave an assurance that any further allegations will be taken seriously if police are given firm evidence.