Laura Sharman 12 August 2016

Pickles outlines plan to tackle election fraud and corruption

The electoral system in Britain needs widespread reforms to crack down on corruption and fraud, a report from Sir Eric Pickles has warned.

The Government commissioned the review into how the electoral system could be made more secure following the corrupt and illegal practices in the 2015 Tower Hamlets election.

The report makes a number of recommendations about how to tackle electoral fraud including requiring voters to bring identification with them to polling stations, and giving more power to Returning Officers to crack down on 'unwanted behaviour'.

Sir Pickles also outlines measures to clamp down on postal vote ‘harvesting’ by political activists and stronger checks and balances against municipal corruption.

In the report, Sir Pickles said: The abuse there was facilitated by weaknesses in the system that is employed throughout Great Britain. We take our democratic institution for granted. We need to make sure that people trust the system and that perceptions can play as big a part in undermining the system as well as actual proof of fraud.

‘Electoral fraud and corruption is intertwined with other forms of crime as well. Local authorities have a large procurement role. A group of people who cheat their way to power are unlikely to hold a higher moral standard when handing out public contracts, or when making quasi-judicial decision on planning and licensing. Electoral registration fraud is connected with financial crime and illegal immigration.’

The Electoral Commission welcomed the report – especially the introduction of photo ID at polling stations – saying it made this recommendation itself last year.

A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission said: ‘The Commission takes electoral fraud extremely seriously and takes action before each set of elections to make sure the police and electoral administrators are aware what to do if they receive any allegations.

‘We welcome the fact that Sir Eric Pickles has repeated so many of the Commission’s longstanding recommendations in his report, including our call for voter ID from 2014, which the UK Government must now finally respond to.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Payroll Administrator

Northumberland County Council
£20,444 - £22,129
Northumberland County Council operates a huge range of services across one of the largest counties in the UK. Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Specialist Advisory Teacher - Developmental Language Disorder

Cumbria County Council
Teachers Pay and Conditions
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a new colleague, who is a qualified teacher, with expertise and experience of developmental language delay. Penrith, Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

ASYE Occupational Therapist - Long Term Intervention Team Kendal

Cumbria County Council
£28,226 – £29,174
We are looking for newly qualified Occupational Therapy professionals, who are passionate about their vocation and would like to join our team. Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Social Worker - Long Term Intervention Team

Cumbria County Council
£31,895 – £32,798
Following an exciting and ambitious programme of change within Adult Social Care. Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Strategic Communications Executive

Lancashire County Council
£30,095-£34,373
Do you believe in the power of communications to bring about change? Preston, Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.