A BBC news story reports that Tower Hamlets residents who are challenging the validity of the May 2014 elections in Tower Hamlets claim witnesses in the case have been the subject of intimidation.
According to BBC London the petitioners state that “they do not allege or imply that the reported intimidation has been orchestrated by any known individuals.”
In response Mayor Rahman has said that he is ‘astonished’ by the claims.
The petition to the High Court claims that:
- Votes were cast in the name of people not entitled to be on the electoral register
- Voting papers were acquired and then marked in favour of Mr Rahman,
- Canvassers were paid to stand outside polling stations to hand out leaflets and persuade people to vote for Rahman
Just to be clear – it is now claimed that some witnesses who made the original allegations about voters being intimidated are now being intimidated.
Quite how witnesses in the Election Petition case have been identified is a puzzle as presumably their statements and identities are not in the public domain until the hearing.
Safe and sound
Apparently ballots cast in the election which might be dodgy have been kept safe and sound in the custody of Tower Hamlets Council and will be recounted next week.
Seems this will take four days – which is a lot faster than the original count farce which took six days. Probably because this count will not be run by Tower Hamlets but by Court officials.
The Election Petition case is due to be heard in January 2015, statements for this needed to be submitted by 18:00 31 October. Seems there is also an oral hearing on November 14th 2014.
PwC report for DCLG still unpublished
The report by Pricewaterhousecoopers (PwC) on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is due to be published… eventually. Reasons for the delay are unclear but no doubt all concerned parties are keen to check facts.
One reason for the delay is clear however. The current Tower Hamlets Council administration has been more than a little reluctant to provide the DCLG / PwC with the information they require.
Whenever the PwC report is published it should be an entertaining read.
- Red Flag
- Tower Hamlets Council statement on election petition
- ‘Our witnesses are being threatened’ claims group behind Tower Hamlets election petition (The Wharf)
- Up to 15,000 votes in Tower Hamlets election were “fraudulent” allege petitioners (The Wharf)
- Tower Hamlets election petition updates: Lutfur hires Rebekah Brooks’ barrister Jonathan Laidlaw QC (Trial by Jeory)
- A guest post by Tower Hamlets election petitioner Andy Erlam (Trial by Jeory)
- BBC London
- Electoral Commission