Dan Peters 01 December 2014

Pickles urged to intervene further in Tower Hamlets

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has been urged to intervene in Tower Hamlets LBC’s arrangements for next year’s General Election.

Andy Erlam, who has launched a petition in court accusing Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman and the council’s acting returning officer John Williams of electoral malpractice and misconduct over the elections in May this year, wants changes in 2015.

Mr Erlam called for Mr Pickles to block the current returning officer and electoral registration officer from officiating next year.

Mr Erlam said: ‘Despite the chaos of last May’s mayoral election and European election counts, current officers blithely appear to have assumed responsibility for next year’s General Election in the borough.

‘Given the gravity of the concerns about how this year’s elections were conducted and overseen by council officers, this is entirely inappropriate.

In a letter to interested parties, Mr Williams said he intended to appoint a much higher ratio of count supervisors to count assistants than this year.

A Tower Hamlets LBC spokesman declined to comment.

The council is understood to be unhappy that the petitioners are giving a running commentary of developments in the media.

Visit The MJ for full coverage of the Tower Hamlets story.

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