Tower Hamlets: Man arrested on suspicion of electoral malpractice

 

A 24-year-man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud as part of an investigation into eight allegations of electoral malpractice over the bitter Tower Hamlets local elections last month, police revealed today.

The Metropolitan Police Service also confirmed that officers from its Specialist Crime and Operations Directorate received 84 complaints amid widespread concern that the hard-fought campaign local election campaign in controversial borough had been marred by voter intimidation and electoral fraud.

Scotland Yard confirmed that four allegations relate to false declarations on nomination papers, two relate to postal voting, one relates to making a false statement about a candidate and one concerns a failure to put a correct imprint on election literature.

It also emerged on Wednesday that a second man, 38, was arrested prior to the election on 13 May. He was detained on suspicion of making false declarations on a nominations form and has since been bailed.

However the MPS added that for the “majority” of the complaints received there is no evidence of criminal activity in relation to the elections.

A Met police spokesman said: “A number of complaints received relate to alleged behaviour of campaigners at polling stations in Tower Hamlets on 22 May and these are currently being assessed in conjunction with our partners.

”There was a strong police prescience on polling day with an officer posted to each polling station on the borough.”

The announcement comes two weeks after the campaign, which saw controversial Mayor Lutfur Rahman win a second term in office, amid accusations of ethnicity-based politics in the deprived borough.

Earlier in the day London Mayor Boris Johnson had told a caller to his LBC Radio show that “everybody had been a bit concerned about allegations about some of the irregularities in voting in Tower Hamlets”.

He added: “These people, if they take that attitude, if they are going to base politics on race then they will lose… I think it's hugely important. We've got to be absolutely clear that nothing took place in Tower Hamlets that could cast doubts on the rightness and propriety of that result.”

John Williams, returning officer at Tower Hamlets Council said: “We have worked closely with the police to respond quickly to all allegations received in accordance with our local protocol and refer issues for investigation where necessary.  We welcome the thoroughness of the police investigation into complaints about the 2014 borough elections. We note that whilst 84 complaints have been referred to the police only eight of the complaints merit an investigation as in the majority of cases there is no evidence that any criminal offences have been committed.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat