Press Release from Office of the Mayor of Tower Hamlets
It’s official: Tower Hamlets has NO CASE TO ANSWER on electoral fraud.
Mayor Lutfur Rahman and Tower Hamlets Council vindicated after Electoral Commission finds “insufficient evidence” to back opposition claims of widespread deception
Mayor Lutfur Rahman today praised Tower Hamlets’ electoral safeguards as “robust and highly effective” after an Electoral Commission report into allegations of widespread electoral fraud in by-elections in April and May 2012 were found to be groundless.
Opposition councillors made an astonishing 154 separate allegations of which 151 were dismissed entirely and only 3 offered grounds for concern. An investigation by the Metropolitan Police found that there was “insufficient evidence to prove an offence” had been committed on any of these.
Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “These allegations were nothing less than a systematic attempt to discredit our robust and highly effective electoral safeguards. The Electoral Commission report is a vindication for this administration and the excellent council officers who impartially administer the electoral process in Tower Hamlets.”
The report indicated that a “breakdown in trust” between certain opposition councillors and the administration, based on “local political disagreements” was at the root of the allegations.
Out-of-date electoral registers used by campaigners and an inability to differentiate between Bangladeshi names were also to blame, the report found.
Cllr. Ohid Ahmed, Deputy Mayor said. “I’m pleased, but not surprised, that these allegations were found to be baseless. I can’t imagine a clearer case of sour grapes than this – attacking the system when it doesn’t give you the result you want. I hope all those responsible will publicly apologise for crying wolf.”
This is not the first time that Mayor Lutfur Rahman has been accused and then vindicated of voter fraud. In 2010 his beaten rival Helal Abbas claimed widespread fraud after Mr Rahman’s landslide victory in the selection to be Labour’s Mayoral candidate.
Cllr. Ahmed further added: “It seems that Labour and Tory opposition councillors can’t process the fact that the people of Tower Hamlets have rejected their divisive and self-interested politics. Instead of looking to their own failings they repeatedly try to discredit the system and are repeatedly proven wrong.”
“At a time of huge government cuts, what I’d like to see is how much these frivolous claims have cost the ratepayer – that’s the real crime.”
Notes to Editors:
Full details of the Electoral Commission’s report can be viewed here:
For information about this press release contact Numan Hussain, Political Advisor to the Mayor, on 07508 352 023 or email email@example.com