As the challenge in the High Court against the result of the May 2014 mayoral election in Tower Hamlets draws closer the BBC has published further details of the alleged wrongdoings. All allegations are denied.
The challenge will be held in the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand due to the possibility of intimidation of witnesses if held in the borough. Voter intimidation is a key issue in the case.
The latest details revealed by the BBC include:
- Issuing grants worth £954,000 to lunch clubs to influence votes
- A voter who expressed her support for the Labour Party being spat at in the face by one of the mayor’s supporters
- A meeting in a restaurant was held where each of 30 council employees were instructed to obtain 100 votes for mayor Lutfur or they would lose their jobs
- Another meeting consisting of almost all the Tower Hamlets First candidates and some activists attended where they were told they must fill up to 250 postal vote application forms each (forms supplied)
- Mayor Lutfur and his party tried to exert undue spiritual influence over voters (which is illegal) through the publication in a newspaper of a letter entitled ‘Be United Against Injustice: Make Lutfur Rahman Victorious’ signed by 101 leaders of the Islamic community in Tower Hamlets including chairmen of mosques and head teachers of religious schools
- During the electoral count at the Troxy council officers deliberately miscounted votes
- Mayor Lutfur’s election agent Alibor Choudhury (Tower Hamlets First cabinet member for resources) organised the recruitment and payment of canvassers during the election campaign and instructed them to canvass for Mayor Lutfur in exchange for financial reward (which is illegal)
So just the usual stuff then.
All allegations untrue
Mayor Rahman, Cllr. Alibor Choudhury and the Tower Hamlets First party have dismissed all these and other allegations as being untrue and characterised by a lack of supporting evidence.
It should also be remember that the High Court challenge is not a criminal trial, it is only a test of the validity of the result of the May 2014 mayoral election result.
If the challenge was to succeed and the election result declared void then the mayoral election would have to be held again.
It would also seem logical that if the mayoral election result was judged to be flawed then the results of the elections for local councillors and the European elections held at the same time would be declared unsound.
For more information:
- Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur faces fresh election fraud claims (Bangladesh News 24)
- Tower Hamlets staff ‘told to obtain illegal votes’ (BBC News)
- Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman faces bombshell new voter intimidation claims (Evening Standard)
- Fresh allegations against Mayor Lutfur Rahman emerge (East London Lines)
- Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman faces election fraud claims (Guardian)
- Staff ‘told to acquire illegal votes’ (Union Gazette)
- Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s website (Nothing relevant to this story at time of publication)